Today started off with what could be called an upset or could be called the second part of an unlikely Japan-Sweden rivalry. The Americans followed that up with a blow-out, as they do, while the Czechs perfected their round robin record. The much-hyped battle between Canada and Finland ended up pretty one-sided.
The IIHF has video highlights up for each game.
Note that Germany finishes in second place in Group B because they beat Japan in the round robin.
Japan 3 vs Sweden 2
For this winner takes all match, Nana Fujimoto gets her fourth straight start for Japan, and Sweden is ride-or-die with Sara Grahn, a decision I’d be more comfortable with if Martinsen had at least tried one of her other goalies sometime during the tournament. To be clear, I don’t think Grahn’s the source of their problems. I’m just not sure she’s the solution either
Sweden spends way too much time faffing around in their own zone with possession and then end up having to take the puck back from Japan a couple of times before they actually get the puck out.
A chance for Sweden leads to a breakout for Japan, but it’s short lived.
Pernilla Winberg comes in with Fanny Rask. Winberg feeds Rask, who passes to Emma Nordin from below the goal line. Nordin beats Fujimoto and Sweden is up 1-0.
First penalty of the game goes to Suzuka Taka for holding. Japan gets the puck out a few times and then wastes more time in a board battle and they survive the kill.
Fujimoto makes a great save on Maja Nylén Persson.
Yoshito Enomoto beats out icing for Japan but can’t make anything happen.
Japan spent most of the first half in their own zone with only one shot on goal but as the period goes on they’re starting to break out more, steal pucks from Sweden, get more zone time. Still not much in the way of shots.
Icing for Sweden gets Japan an offensive zone faceoff but the Swedes get the puck out in short order.
A missed pass by Japan exits the Swedish zone just as the Japanese looked like they might be setting up for a decent opportunity.
4:44 left and Sara Grahn sees her second shot of the period.
Sweden gets a dangerous opportunity, three or four shots in a row as Fujimoto lets out rebounds with Swedes on her doorstep but keeps everything out.
It’s not so much that Sweden is intercepting Japanese passes as Japan is failing to complete them.
Another icing for Sweden leads to the best chances for Japan yet, a flurry around Grahn that draws a penalty. Erika Grahm goes to the box on a slashing call with 16 seconds left in the period.
Japan looks good on the power play. A puck just barely over the line is called offside so they have to re-set with 50 seconds left but manage to keep control until the very end of the penalty, when Sweden manages to get the puck in deep.
Starting with the advantage has been good for Japan, and Sweden subsequently has trouble getting into the offensive zone. It’s five minutes into the period before they get a shot on goal. To be clear nothing from Japan hit the net in that time either, but small victories.
Sena Suzuki brings down Fanny Rask and gets two minutes for holding. Japan clears the puck quickly. Fujimoto has to deal with a scramble in net during which Winberg acts like she scored but I’m not sure why because the puck isn’t even in the blue paint when she puts her arms up. It’s the best chance Sweden gets as Japan clears the puck a couple more times.
Suzuki refuses to be pushed around, which is helpful while standing up to Swedish players wanting to muscle past her out of their zone... but she also lets her stick come up and she’s back in the box for high sticking.
Sweden is better at staying in the offensive zone this time. Sara Hjalmarsson comes in to the net under pressure from Kanami Seki, who sticks to her like glue and keeps her from scoring.
Suzuki gets the puck right out of the box but she’s stick checked by Hjalmarsson before she can get a shot off.
Pernilla Winberg goes one on one with Fujimoto, who shuts the door. Winberg can’t stop her momentum and earns herself two minutes in the box for slashing as she gets in Fujimoto’s way.
A nice shot by Shiori Koike in front off a pass from Rui Ukita. Sweden clears a couple times, Japan has a few shot attempts. On one save by Grahn Sweden decides Haruka Toko is too close to their goalie which results in some shoving
Back at even strength Sweden comes in with numbers, but Fujimoto is there with the save.
JAPAN TIES IT UP! Chiho Osawa sends a pass right on the tape of Haruna Yoneyama, who’s in perfect position to tip it past Grahn to make it 1-1. There’s a review to check if Yoneyama was in the blue paint but the goal is called good.
Sweden spends the time after the faceoff in the Japanese zone but can’t find a lane to the net. Finally something gets through but Fujimoto covers up.
Akane Shiga ices the puck, and then we get some rare end to end action before Fujimoto grabs the puck. Shortly thereafter she makes a great glove save.
Japan comes into the offensive zone with numbers and they get some great chances. Haruka Toko sends in a great slapshot from the point that’s gloved by Grahn.
Yoneyama scores again on the backhand but did it beat the buzzer? It’s reviewed and the answer is no. That’s a blow for Japan, it was a very pretty shot, perfectly placed. We go into the third all tied up.
Japan comes out having decided to shoot more.
Hanna Olsson tries a wraparound on Fujimoto. Doesn’t work, and there’s more shoving after the save.
Fujimoto benefits from a quick whistle when the ref loses sight of the puck when she’s down and out but decidedly doesn’t have the puck.
Some zone time for Japan with a couple of shots. Sweden gets it out and their second attempt at a zone entry ends offside.
Fujimoto hugs her post to keep out a chance from Grahm and then has to hug the puck off the faceoff.
Rask manages to get the puck in front under pressure, but she’s too close and can’t get the shot off.
Hosoyamada turns the puck over right in front of Hanna Olsson. The puck gets back to Sofia Engstrom who beats Fujimoto and puts Sweden up 2-1 with just under 13 minutes to go.
Rask penalty for tripping as Akane Hosoyamada goes down. Japan gets a couple of good chances on the power play before they eventually tie it up. Ayaka Toko sends in a seeing eye point shot that hit Akane Shiga and might go off Grahn before it goes in.
Goal is reviewed... there was a Japanese player (I think Kubo got to the net after passing to Toko?) in front but she didn’t touch the goalie, the blue paint, or the puck so I’m not sure why it took so long to have the goal confirmed good. 2-2, Shiga gets the goal and Hanae Kubo gets the secondary assist. 8:47 left in the period.
Sweden is getting chances but having to go back into their own zone to get the puck after each one. Japan ices the puck once then twice.
Rask evades the Japanese defenders long enough for a shot but Fujimoto sees it all the way.
Shot by Chiho Osawa, save Grahn.
Things are getting physical, but the officials seem to have swallowed their whistles.
There’s another one on one with Grahn and she has the save.
Another icing for Japan.
Rask keeps getting the puck around the net, but the Japanese defenders know who they’re dealing with and stick right to her.
Erika Grahm is called for charging with 2:07 left as she tries to prevent a zone entry. (It could as easily have been called a slash, which is when I think the arm actually went up, but then she moved from stick contact to a shove.)
JAPAN SCORES. A point shot from Ayaka Toko goes top corner with Mei Miura in front providing the screen. It’s 3-2 with 1:15 to go. Assists go to Haruka Toko and Hanae Kubo.
Sweden pulls Grahn with a minute left. Japan gets the puck out of their zone, but all they can manage is to pin the puck behind the empty net to kill time. Sweden gains the zone with 30 seconds left and manage a shot or two more on Fujimoto before the clock runs out and Japan wins!
Nana Fujimoto and Maja Nylén Persson are named the players of the game. Shots were 30 to 15 for Sweden, which tells you both the value of a goalie and that the Japanese defense are still good. I’m not going to enjoy USA vs Japan but I can tell you the Japanese will learn from that game and get even better.
This was, to my eyes, the best game Sweden played all tournament. If they play like this against France on Thursday they’ll at least be able to go out with a win. If they don’t... they just barely beat France in round robin, and France would love to go home with a pair of wins. Some people are blaming this on the Boork years and the funding reduction and certainly those were probably contributing factors. But Japan played their game and played it well. They beat Sweden in overtime at the Olympics, and they’ve improved just a little bit more since then. They earned this win and they’ll come back looking even better in Halifax next year.
USA 10 vs Russia 0
In a bit of a surprise, the Russians start off with Valeria Merkusheva in goal. The US goes with Alex Rigsby. Hannah Brandt is still out, but Kacey Bellamy is back in the lineup.
The game starts off with an attempted zone entry by Yelena Dergachyova, but she gets stood up just past the blue line, and then the US takes control.
A Cayla Barnes feed to Jesse Compher doesn’t quite go.
There’s a bomb from the hash marks from Lee Stecklein and Merkusheva can save it but has issues getting the rebound. Russia’s clearing attempt turns into icing.
A fabulous pass from Alex Carpenter finds Amanda Kessel, who’s waiting right next to an open cage and can just tip it in. Team USA jumps out to an early 1-0 lead. I thought we were going to escape without Rod mentioning Phil Kessel after his sister’s goal, and yet, we are not that fortunate.
A Hayley Scamurra feed to Sydney Brodt is broken up by Liana Ganeyeva.
The Russians finally get a point shot on Rigsby, after a decent chunk of game time.
A nice strip by Valeria Pavlova on Kendall Coyne Schofield.
While the US is running the show, Russia isn’t completely overrun. Russia actually gets a good shot on Rigsby from Nina Pirogova, which bounces off Rigsby and on top of the cage. Any further pressure is neutralized when Pirogova gets stripped by Annie Pankowski at the point, and she sends it the other way.
Hayley Scamurra takes a high-sticking penalty, giving Russia the first power play of the game. Olga Sosina takes a onetimer from the point and Pavlova scrabbles with it at the side of the net. Dani Cameranesi sends it the other way and Hilary Knight almost puts it in shorthanded, but it doesn’t go. Russia gets back in and set up again for a few shots before Carpenter carries it the other way.
Other than that initial Sosina shot, Russia doesn’t get much going on their power play. Team USA kills it.
An incredible feed from Annie Pankowski to Emily Pfalzer right on Merkusheva’s doorstep, but Merkusheva saves it. A Pankowski shot hits glass on the same shift. Annie Pankowski is having herself a tournament, and it’s wonderful to see her break out.
A shot by Alexandra Vafina goes off Rigsby. Knight has another chance and Merkusheva makes a strong save, then another on the same shift. This game is not yet a massacre, although Russia is definitely being outplayed.
Fanuza Kadirova tries a move and is denied with emphasis.
Cayla Barnes! She collects the puck at the Russian blue line, maneuvers right into the slot despite being surrounded by white jerseys, and delicately picks top corner. 2-0 USA.
Coyne Schofield makes it 3-0 all of 16 seconds later, picking off a Daria Teryoshkina pass in the neutral zone and using her speed to gun it in on Merkusheva, wiring it right through.
Dergachyova looks like she might be getting something going, but she gets stood up at the blue line—not so much she loses puck possession, but just enough that Anna Shokhina comes in too fast and is whistled for offsides. The period ends with a 3-0 US lead.
A shot from Sydney Brodt goes just wide.
Anna Savonina gets all tangled up with Brianna Decker (intentionally) and Team USA doesn’t even need to get out of the delayed penalty before they convert. Pankowski dishes to Megan Bozek at the point, and Bozek hammers that amazing slapper right through everyone. 4-0 Team USA.
A centering pass by Stecklein can’t be converted by Knight but it’s clooooooose.
There’s a great little cycle by the Kessel line, ending with a shot from Pannek that Merkusheva saves. Another shot is blocked by Savonina, but the US is just leaning now. Russia is stuck in their own zone and hasn’t left for several minutes now. They look considerably worse this period, overmatched and overrun.
Team USA goal! Another point shot, Stecklein this time. It’s her first international goal, which is a bit hard to believe considering how many international games she has under her belt. 5-0 USA.
That’s the end of Valeria Merkusheva’s night. She’s pulled in favor of Anna Prugova.
A Knight shot from far out looks like it went in, although it’s not called as a goal on the ice. A lot of time elapses before the next whistle, all in Team Russia’s end. I’m not entirely sure the Russians have had a shot yet this period.
There’s finally a whistle when Oxana Bratishcheva takes a tripping penalty, and we get to look at replays of the Knight goal, which was definitely a goal—it hit the camera at the back of the net and came out at speed. 6-0 Team USA.
There will be a lot of time added onto the clock—almost three minutes—and then the US power play goes to work. This power play is a terrifying shooting gallery, all puck movement and wicked shots. Knight nearly scores another on a nasty shot that barely misses the cage, and Kessel tries to feed it to Brodt but Brodt can’t quite get everything on the tip. Somehow—and I am genuinely not sure how—Russia kills off the penalty.
It’s strange to describe a 6-0 game as boring, but this game is boring. There’s nothing competitive about it at all. I’ve watched enough genuinely fun games this tournament—France vs Germany yesterday is a fine example—that Group A blowouts seem kind of tedious now.
Coyne Schofield is tripped up by Maria Batalova, and Team USA goes back to the power play with just under three minutes remaining in the period. Their power play continues to get the same movement as before, multiple good chances, but this time they convert. A tic-tac-toe passing play in front of the Russian goal from Decker to Pankowski to Coyne Schofield ends in Coyne Schofield’s second goal of the game. 7-0 Team USA.
Pankowski almost makes it 8-0 before the end of the second with a backhand shot on Prugova, but she makes the save.
The period starts off with a good chance for Valeria Pavlova, who beats Bozek coming in but can’t beat Rigsby. It’s a shot on goal for Russia, though, which has been rare since the first period!
It’s nice to hear the broadcast talk about Lee Stecklein’s Isobel Cup-winning goal for the Whitecaps. I’m extremely tired of hearing about everyone’s brothers, fathers, and husbands, but I will give credit where credit is due—the broadcast team has been talking much more about players’ professional accomplishments, and that’s cool.
There’s a great turning pass from Scamurra but Brodt can’t convert.
Russia is at least making this look a bit more even; they haven’t been as badly hemmed in through the first five minutes of the third. They might not be getting a ton of chances, but they’re forcing play back out into the neutral zone more than they managed through most of the second.
A quick shot from Kessel is saved through traffic. Shortly after, Sydney Brodt gets a chance all alone in on Prugova off a nice feed from Kessel, and Prugova saves it as well.
Brianna Decker puts in a backhand shot through Prugova right from her doorstep. She ends up with a Russian defender sitting on top of her, and the puck in the back of the net. 8-0 Team USA.
Scamurra tries to force her way to the top of the crease and shoot it in, but she’s surrounded by Russian jerseys and Prugova keeps it out.
Prugova makes a save and Knight crashes the crease looking for the loose puck and ends up in a scuffle with what seems like every Russian on the ice, which is predictable.
Kelly Pannek trips up Vafina and goes to the penalty box, giving Russia a power play. Brodt immediately takes the puck into the Russian end shorthanded, wasting time although she doesn’t get a shot off. Russia is eventually able to get in and get set up. A Sosina point shot is deflected away by Rigsby.
Decker and Coyne Schofield get a 2 on 1, and instead of taking the shot herself, Decker tries to feed it to her linemate for the hat trick and the Russian defender is able to interrupt the pass.
Ganeyeva puts another shot on Rigsby and forces her to make the save with Dergachyova right on her doorstep. A shot from Yekaterina Nikolayeva right off the faceoff is squeezed to Rigsby’s chest, and then the penalty is over and we’re back to 5 on 5.
There’s a messy play in the crease, a Stecklein shot that hits Prugova and bounces around the paint before eventually going through her. Decker might have gotten her stick on it, but it’s unclear if it was her or Teryoshkina, so Stecklein goes from having zero international goals to two in a single game. 9-0 Team USA.
As if to add insult to injury, the Russians take a too many players penalty. Fanuza Kadirova goes into the box, and Team USA will get a sterling chance to hit double digits. They send out a very young PP unit to start, presumably because none of this matters with a nine-goal lead and it’s good to give the kids some special teams time. It’s all speed and snappy passing. Scamurra and Melissa Samoskevich both have good chances but Prugova is there. Russia kills off the penalty.
Sharp save by Prugova on Jesse Compher to keep it 9-0. The rookies are getting a lot of minutes towards the end of this game, which is fun.
And there’s goal number ten! A Samoskevich shot goes through Prugova. The broadcast thinks it was tipped by Compher, but the IIHF seems to disagree. 10-0 Team USA.
Russia then takes their timeout with less than three minutes left and a ten-goal deficit, which is an interesting coaching choice, but Russia makes a lot of interesting coaching choices.
Team USA seems happy to sit back for the last three minutes of play. The Russians get a few more shots off on Rigsby, but she’s there for all of them—Rigsby hasn’t had to do a lot of work today, but she’s been there when necessary.
Team USA wins the game by a score of 10-0. Players of the game are Yelena Dergachyova for Russia and Lee Stecklein for the USA. Shots ended up 44 for Team USA, 12 for Russia, which is actually not all that horrible in the vast scheme of what we’ve seen this tournament.
Czech Republic 2 vs Germany 0
Germany and the Czechs face off in the last Group B game, where the winner finishes first in the group. Second place means a quarterfinal matchup with Group A’s second place team (likely Canada). First place means you avoid that fate.
The Germans have opted to put Ivonne Schroeder in net, so they need to back that up with some good offensive play.
The opening minutes are non-stop Czech pressure. This Czech team is not leading the group via a fluke. They move the puck well, skate very well, and they just need the right talent to carry them all the way to Group A.
The Germans finally manage to break out after five minutes of play and get two decent shots on Kristýna Bláhová.
Even though the Czechs have trouble breaking back out, the Germans get no shots, and then Daria Gleissner takes a penalty for a hit, giving the Czechs the advantage back.
I do not like this Czech power play. They rely too much on skating the puck around, and they never find a cross-ice or even high-to-low pass they like.
Bláhová makes a bad clearing attempt and has to make another save as the pace has amped up dramatically.
Denisa Křížová is peeved over a penalty call, and I am right there with her. She was trying to get inside position on the puck in the offensive zone, but the ref saw hooking. It’s not the World Championships if the penalty calls aren’t baffling.
Germany gets their first power play, and it is not effective. There’s more play in the German zone than the Czech.
The teams spend about five minutes taking turns getting to the offensive zone and turning it over. No one is getting shots of any kind, and the game is at risk of stagnating as the period winds down.
German Anne Bartsch takes a penalty for tripping to spice things up.
The Czechs start sloppy, and then discover the cross-ice pass, which makes Schroeder have to work to keep the game scoreless. She gets lucky when she leaves the net wide open behind her, and a cross-crease pass fails to find a Czech player for the easy tap-in.
As is tradition at this tournament, there’s a penalty called just as the period expires, another tripping call for Bartsch.
The shots on goal were 13 to five for the Czechs, helped along by too many German penalties.
Who will step on the gas and act like they want to win this game?
The Czechs snake a perfect pass low-to-high on their power play, but the point shot is blocked, which ... yeah. Surprise! Still not a fan of their technique, although they maintain two minutes of zone time.
The Czechs spend five minutes dominating possession and never shooting. They barely have any shot attempts, and the few they do have, the Germans easily block.
The Czechs come out of the “TV timeout” looking a little more assertive. But that’s a relative measure, there are three total shots on goal in this period so far.
The German coach spends the next break showing the team on the whiteboard where the Czech zone is.
The map doesn’t help.
The Czechs get a dangerous-looking rush, and the Germans take a slashing call.
And finally, after so many tries, the Czechs score. After about three iterations of the “walk the puck to the slot” trick, which failed, they try a centering pass from below the goal line. The shot goes right over Schroeder like she’s not even there.
1-0 Czech Republic on a goal by Alena Mills from Aneta Tejralová and Klára Hymlárová.
Mills strikes again a few minutes late when a bad German giveaway lets the Czechs set up a cycle as the German defence is disorganized. She wires it in from some distance.
There’s a scrum on the near-boards that results in a Czech tripping penalty in the offensive zone, again, with two minutes left in the period.
Germany gets set up and maintains pressure, but they rely entirely on point shots that are easy saves. The clock winds down on the power play and then the period, and likely the German chances to come back.
Shots on goal were 14 to five for the Czechs with almost all of that coming in the last five minutes of the period.
The Czechs start this period so aggressive, you have to wonder where this team was when the game was scoreless. It’s more fun, but they are opening the door to the Germans on the counterattack.
They also, predictably, draw a penalty. Emily Nix goes off for tripping, which seems to be this ref’s go-to infraction.
Just as that penalty ends, the Czechs take one of their own—for tripping, unsurprisingly. The German coach gets out the whiteboard again in the well-timed break, but it doesn’t have any effect. The German power play is more toothless than their five-on-five efforts.
Germany take a holding penalty, and then pop the puck over the glass to give up a five-on-three.
In the middle of that the lineswoman has some minor injury to her hand, so we wait for that to get dealt with by the Czech trainer, and come back to a four-on-three, since the Czechs took a ... wait for it ... tripping penalty while on the power play. As you do.
No one scores on any permutation of non-five-on-five play, and the game limps to a close as the Germans give up on defence as well as offence.
In the fitting symbol of this game, Tereza Vanišová goes end to end, slipping between German defenders with ease, and never gets off a shot. The Czechs then take a too many men penalty, and that runs the clock down on an easy Czech win over an indifferent German team that didn’t seem to care what the stakes were.
The total shots on goal were: 37-10 for the Czechs, with the Germans not taking a shot in the third. (Have they heard of score effects?)
The players of the game were Ivonne Schroeder for Germany and Alena Mills for the Czechs.
The spectators were listed at 102.
The Czech Republic is your Group B winner with a perfect record of four wins.
@lgabel9 's pair of goals and an assist helped rocket @HC_Women to a 6-1 win over @leijonat in the final game of the 2019 #WomensWorlds preliminary round.— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) April 9, 2019
READ MORE https://t.co/mZQjzTmUL6 pic.twitter.com/r3C3SYL4W5
Canada 6 vs Finland 1
Shannon Szabados gets the start for Canada, Noora Räty for Finland. Marie-Philip Poulin is out, Brianne Jenner has been given the C in her place. We’ll see how long I can put up with Rod before I hit mute this time.
It takes a little bit for things to really get clicking. Brigette Lacquette sends a point shot right on Räty, who turns it aside. Canada ices the puck. Laura Stacey comes in under pressure and gets a shot in.
There’s some physical play already as Finnish defender Jenni Hiirikoski goes down but there’s no call.
About five minutes in, Canada gets their first extended time in the Finnish zone. Only one shot on goal but a lot of battles.
A shot by Natalie Spooner is grabbed by Räty but she drops the puck and Spooner gets in another shot before the whistle goes.
Hiirikoski goes down again and this time Finland gets a power play as Spooner goes to the box on a hooking call.
Erin Ambrose blocks a shot by Noora Tulus and clears the puck but it’s right back in. Finland are allowed to set up a bit of a shooting gallery. Szabados keeps everything out and eventually covers up with 45 seconds to go in the kill. Szabados looks excellent, the rest of her penalty killers less so.
Just as a note, Szabados was the only Canadian national team player in the NWHL this past season but she was not the only Canadian. This is your daily “don’t listen to Rod” PSA.
Isa Rahunen is called for interference and it’s Canada’s turn with the power play. Riikka Sallinen almost gets a shorthanded chance, but Canada retrieves the puck in time. Finland clears, Susanna Tapani makes a nuisance of herself, Canada ices the puck trying to reenter. Next attempt is whistled offside. Ambrose takes a shot with Jill Saulnier on the doorstep. Wicked shot by Laura Fortino, save by Räty.
Back at even strength Canada actually looks better... and better still, Renata Fast feeds a backhand to Ann Sophie Bettez who sends a point shot in, it’s tipped by Loren Gabel and Canada is on the board 1-0.
Play goes back and forward for a bit, each side denying entries. Stacey, Rattray and Fast all get chances but Räty isn’t budging. Szabados is briefly busy again.
Tulus comes in but Micah Zandee Hart is there.
Jill Saulnier feeds Ambrose who puts a hell of a shot on net. A rebound slides right to Rebecca Johnston who puts the puck straight into the net to make it 2-0.
Elisa Holopainen gets the puck but can’t lose her Canadian shadow and loses the zone in the attempt.
Laura Stacey gets a gift but Räty is not cooperating.
Finland tries to get the puck away from the Nurse-Spooner-Turnbull line and are only sort of successful. Daoust comes in by herself.
The puck briefly goes missing and ends up... the other end of the ice from where everyone thought it was? Hoping for a replay on that.
Michelle Karvinen gets an entry but the Canadians are there to keep her from shooting.
Shots in the period are 16 to 6 for Canada, so that’s how that’s going.
A few board battles in the Finnish zone leads to an icing call against Finland and Räty has to deal with a few shots.
Rod Black makes the statement that Susanna Tapani—who took a couple games off of the SDHL playoffs this very season to play ringette with the Finnish national team at the world championships—used to be a very good ringette player but had to make a choice between ringette and hockey. Evidence suggests that Rod Black is in fact, incorrect.
Tripping call on Venla Hovi so Canada tries another power play. Räty stops a shot by Blayre Turnbull.
Ronja Savolainen blocks a shot with Raty down and out to save a goal.
Finland is not getting a lot in the way of shots right now. Räty keeps stopping Canada.
Second shot of the period for Finland with just over 10 minutes left.
Tanja Niskanen is called for interference based on... I’m not really sure, but Canada has the advantage again.
Szabados charges out of her net to play the puck and give me a heart attack as the Finns are on the approach shorthanded.
Tripping call on Ambrose, who was retaliating a little. 4 on 4 for over a minute. One of the best Finnish chances so far comes right at the end of the 4 on 4 and Szabados has to move her pads quickly. Saulnier then feeds Jenner for a shorthanded chance.
Another save by Szabados at even strength as Finland comes in offside.
Canada sets up what almost looks like a power play. The Finnish players block a few shots before one finally gets to Räty and is stopped.
Petra Nieminen grabs a turnover and puts it right on Szabados. The rebound goes up in the air, which might have been trouble but it finds the netting.
Loren Gabel is demonstrating why she would have been the top choice (although not the first overall pick because location) at the 2019 CWHL draft. She comes in one on one on Räty and goes top cheese to make it 3-0. Bettez gets another assist, as does fellow rookie Jaime Bourbonnais.
Whether he genuinely believes there’s an issue (Rod thinks she’s “labouring”) or he’s accepting the inevitable and resting his starter for the quarter-finals, head coach Pasi Mustonen pulls Räty and puts in Evelina Suonpää.
I really am tired of Rod and Cheryl banging on about how Finland beat Canada in the round robin in 2017. Canada has beaten Finland four times in official international play and twice in friendlies since then. It’s an indication of what Finland can do, certainly, but they haven’t even threatened since.
Jenner and Gabel come in with a give and go, Gabel feeds Jenner a beauty pass and Jenner makes it 4-0.
Shots are 16 to 7 in favour of Canada.
The period starts off with a few multi-shot instances for Canada, with one worrying moment in between when a Finnish player beats Szabados but shoots just high, sending the puck over the net instead of under the crossbar.
At 2:42 Finland finally breaks through. Riikka Sallinen gets the pass back to Ella Viitasuo at the point and she beats Szabados with a pretty shot top corner to make it 4-1.
Finland steps up the pace again, but they’re not getting back in the Canadian zone. They ice the puck and Emma Nuutinen gets a hooking penalty off the subsequent faceoff.
Shot from Johnston, steal by the Finns, shorthanded chance for Tapani. Fortino brings the puck back in and fires, saved by Suonpää. Ambrose misses an open net. Suonpää saves the next attempt by Ambrose. Fast tries to re-set and is chased by Hovi.
Back at even strength a nice shot by Minnamari Tuominen is turned aside by Szabados. Petra Nieminen grabs a turnover and goes in on Szabados, who kicks the puck out. Larocque was in pursuit of Nieminen and gets called for tripping.
Jenner goes in shorthanded but a pair of Finnish defenders catch up with her and her shot’s a little weak. Emily Clark nearly gets a breakaway. Canada’s not letting the Finns get a good opportunity on this power play.
At 5 on 5 Spooner attempts to Spooner herself down the left side of the rink but encounters a Finnish player. She passes to Sarah Nurse as she’s falling. Nurse doesn’t lose a step and goes upstairs on Suonpää, it’s 5-1. Renata Fast gets a secondary assist.
Canada keeps turning on the pressure, and Finland has trouble getting through the neutral zone.
Erin Ambrose, who has been threatening all tournament, and today especially, redirects a pass from Jamie Lee Rattray into the net and Canada’s up 6-1 with eight and half minutes to go in the game.. Mélodie Daoust gets an assist for her excellent pass to Rattray.
Both teams continue their quest to score but neither goalie is willing to let them.
Ambrose dives for the puck and upends Annina Rajahuhta, who was chasing for it. She goes down into the boards, possibly hitting her head, and is down on the ice for a few minutes. Rajahuhta’s had concussion issues in the past, so it’s doubly unfortunate that it was her who was hurt. Ambrose is sent off with a tripping call.
There’s a shorthanded chance for Saulnier, and she draws a matching tripping penalty on Tuominen to make it 4 on 4 for 1:46.
The Finns start off with a few chances before Spooner gets the puck. Holopainen shows off some speed and splits the defence.
Tapani gives Szabados a snow shower, Saulnier objects strenuously and they go at it. They both sit for unsportsmanlike misconduct and roughing respectively so the game ends at 4 on 4.
Shots in the game end at 49 to 23. Players of the game are Loren Gabel for Canada and Petra Nieminen for Finland.
Tomorrow’s an off day, and then the quarter finals take place on Thursday. USA will play Japan, Canada takes on Germany at 9:00 am, Russia meets Switzerland in the one game TSN doesn’t have, and Finland takes on the Czech Republic. Plus France and Sweden will play to determine the 9th and 10th place seedings.
Just as a point of interest, since Katya’s been putting in the listed attendance for the game’s she’s recapped, I thought I’d list the others. Both of the games she’s recapped have taken place at Rink 2 which is the smaller rink, only used on the days they run four games in a day and then only once a day. At the main rink, numbers for today were: 1,380 for Japan vs Sweden, 954 for USA vs Russia and 4,752 for Canada vs Finland.
For comparison, the gold medal game in 2017 between Canada and USA in Plymouth, Michigan, drew 3,917 spectators.