International Ice Hockey Federation

Finns edge Norway in OT

Finns edge Norway in OT

Finland ekes out second straight win

Published 13.05.2017 15:11 GMT+2 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Finns edge Norway in OT
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 13: Norway's Patrick Thoresen #41 bodychecks Finland's Joonas Jarvinen #36 during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Markus Hannikainen scored at 1:55 of overtime to give Finland a 3-2 win over Norway on Saturday.

The Columbus Blue Jackets forward came out of the penalty box after serving a minor penalty for defenceman Atte Ohtamaa, who had taken two minutes plus a 10-minute misconduct for checking to the head at the end of regulation time. Hannikainen took a breakaway pass from Mika Pyorala and went top corner as the Finnish fans packing the AccorHotels Arena rejoiced. 

It's been an iffy start to this tournament for Finland. This was their second consecutive victory after beating Slovenia 5-2, but they squandered a chance at three points by allowing Norway's tying goal with less than a minute left.

"I think we had enough scoring opportunities but we didn’t score enough," said Sebastian Aho. "We had a lot of chances to make it 3-1 but the goalie played well and their defence was good. We played well, and we got the win, which is the most important thing."

In regulation time, Juuso Hietanen and Julius Honka scored for Finland. Anders Bastiansen and Andreas Martinesen replied for Norway.

"I think we played a pretty good game," said Bastiansen. "If you had said to me before the game that we’d be 2-2 with Finland after three periods, I think we would have taken it."

Finland's Joonas Korpisalo won the goaltending battle with Norway's Lars Haugen. Shots on goal favored Finland 28-21.

A Finnish sign in the crowd read, "Noo, alkaako pannu porisemaan?" ("So, is the pot going to start bubbling?"). That might have been an allusion to the cauldron in which the druid Getafix brews magic potion in the Asterix comics. It definitely reflected the impatience of Finnish fans with their team's early results in Paris. 

The Norwegians came out aggressively and had the better of the early play. Finland fought back with heavy pressure during their first power play with Patrick Thoresen off for interference, but couldn’t capitalize. Norway, however, broke through on their opening man advantage with 1:22 left in the first. Bastiansen skated to the net and deftly tipped Mattias Norstebo’s shot from the blue line past Korpisalo.

"I saw Norstebo got the puck on top and he shot it," said Bastiansen. "I just tried to get my stick on it, and I was lucky enough to get a touch on it and it went between the goalie’s legs."

Finland dominated the second period with a 12-3 edge in shots. At 5:33, Hietanen tied it up, just six seconds into a power play. Standing on the goal line to Haugen’s right, he scored five-hole on a bad-angle shot. It was one the goaltender would like to have had back.

At 8:11, Honka made it 2-1 with his high stick-side blast after the Finns won an offensive zone faceoff. It was the Dallas Stars defenceman’s first Worlds goal ever.

In the third period, Haugen kept it a one-goal game with under six minutes left when he made a slick glove save on Aho off the rush. The goalie came out for the extra attacker in the dying moments, and the Norwegians cashed in. Martinsen barged to the net after a faceoff in Finland's zone and stuffed the puck home with 29 seconds left. The Finns were stunned, but they'd kill off Ohtamaa's subsequent penalty and win it in extra time.

"It was a tough bounce for us, their last goal," said Aho. "But we played well on the penalty kill after that, and Hannikainen got a big goal for us."

"I think a couple of hours from now we’ll be satisfied that we got one point," said Bastiansen.

The Finnish team wore black armbands to mark the passing of popular former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto. He served as president from 1982 to 1994, and died in Helsinki on Friday at age 93.

Facing Switzerland on Sunday, Finland will try to make it three straight wins. Norway's next game is Monday against defending champion Canada.

Norway has never defeated Finland in 19 tries at the Worlds, dating back to 1949. It tied the Finns twice, 3-3 in 1990 and 1-1 in 1996, and lost 3-2 in overtime in 2008.


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