2019 WORLD ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP – SEMIFINALS
Russia vs Finland 0-1
Finland earned a 1-0 win against Russia and therefore made it to the final!
It was a real tight and in its own exciting game. Whoever follows us regularly, knows that we’re not particularly in love with the Finns’ defensive stlye… but guys, Finland just taught Russia a tactical lesson this afternoon.
The Finns, moreover, showed an impressive character and, even helped by their goalie Kevin Lankinen impressive performance, deserved to qualify to the final thanks to the goal scored by Captain Marko Anttila with 9 minutes and 48 seconds left to the end of the game.
The Russians then obviously tried to get back in the game and even pulled their goalie during the last two minutes of play… but there was no deal to make. Proof enough, for the umpteenth time, that the “big names” alone don’t win you any title.
In fact, it’s the wininng mindset… a tight-knit group and a favourable momentum that win you key games. And in this regard, it’s safe to say that Finland is a worthy finalist! Even if only because Russia, even today, proved a real tough team to beat.
Canada vs Czech Republic 5-1
Canada is the second finalist thanks to the 5-1 win earned against Czech Republic!
There was no deal to make for the Czech… the Canadians in fact, made things clear right from the start as they took the lead with Mark Stone after 5 minutes and 18 seconds from the first puck drop. Czech Republic then had the chances to score, but the truth is that the Canadians created much more clear scoring chances, and most and above all they were better at converting them.
And so, in a matter of 5 minutes and 6 seconds of the central period, they seal the win as they took a 3-goals lead thanks to Darnell Nurse and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
During the third period then, Canada was merciless and extended their lead to 5-goals thanks to Kyle Turris and Thomas Chabot. That’s before Tomas Zohorna scored the consolation goal for Czech Republic during the final stages of the game.
Canada might not have “big names” in its roster… but the truth is that the Canadians are playing like a real Team, with a capital T. And that makes all the difference in the world. And on Sunday night, at 20:15 ET, they will deservedly face Finland for the gold!