International Ice Hockey Federation

Filppula completes comeback

Filppula completes comeback

Swiss blow early 2-0 lead, lose 3-2 in OT

Published 15.05.2017 15:38 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Filppula completes comeback
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 14: Players from Finland bench celebrate after Valtteri Filppula #51 (not shown) scores the overtime winning goal against Switzerland during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Valtteri Filppula scored on a bad-angle deke at 2:24 of overtime to complete Finland's comeback from 2-0 down.

The win gives Finland 11 points, one behind the Swiss who stay in third place with 12 points.

The game mirrored last night's Swiss win over Canada in which the Canadians went up 2-0 early only to lose in overtime, 3-2. Tonight, the Swiss had the 2-0 lead and lost in OT.

"It often happens that teams can’t keep a 2-0 lead," said Finn Mika Pyorala. "You start to play too defensively and too passive, and the other team gets momentum. In the second, they pulled back a bit, so we wanted to keep going and felt we had a good chance."

The winning goal came when Filppula cut in from a sharp angle and slid the puck between Leonardo Genoni's pads.

"He had some good speed coming from the side of the net and I didn’t close the five-hole," Genoni said. "It’s my fault. I’m sorry for the team."

"We weren’t ready at the start," said Pyorala. "We gave them two easy goals but we started to push hard and in the third period they got a little tired. We got the momentum and created more scoring chances."

The Swiss dominated the opening period but the Finns went to the dressing room down but a goal. The scoring started at 4:40 off the stick of the hot Fabrice Herzog, who scored twice 24 hours ago in the big win over Canada.

Tonight, he took a slick feed rom linemate Tanner Richard and fired a bullet over the glove of Joonas Korpisalo for the early Swiss lead.

Six minutes later, the Swiss went up 2-0. This time it was a Joel Genazzi point shot that went all the way, bouncing off Korposalo’s glove and in.

That was enough for coach Lauri Marjamaki. He pulled his goalie and inserted Harri Sateri, and the move worked. He didn't allow a goal the rest of the way.

"It’s not the goalie’s fault," Lajunen said of the move. "It’s a wakeup call for the whole team."

The Finns came within one in the final minute. Andres Ambuhl took a minor and misconduct for checking to the head of captain Lasse Kukkonen, who was clearly hurt on the play.

Jusso Hietanen batted a loose puck off Genoni and in with 59.3 seconds remaining, giving the Finns a psychological boost heading off after 20 minutes, despite being outshot 11-4.

The second was the reverse, as the Finns dominated and were unlucky not to have at least tied the game. But Genoni was solid in goal and his teammates collapsed around him and blocked every shot imaginable.

Indeed, the best scoring chance of the period belonged to Swiss Denis Hollenstein who stole a puck inside his blue line and raced down ice, only to be stoned by Sateri.

The Swiss had two great chances to increase their lead early in the third. Vincent Praplan was robbed from the top of the crease by Sateri, and then the Swiss had a power play but couldn't do much with it. These missed opportunities cost them.

Finland got a power play of its own, and a point shot by Ville Lajunen went all the way at 7:40 to make it a 2-2 game.

"When we’re down 2-0 that early, we know there’s time and if we get one goal, we’re right back in it," Jani Lajunen noted. "In hockey, a 2-0 lead isn’t that big. It was a good comeback for us."

Both teams have a day off before finishing their round robin on Tuesday. Finland plays Canada and the Swiss take on the Czechs.


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