ZURICH-KLOTEN – Finland won its second straight game at the 2009 IIHF World Championships with a 5-1 win over Denmark.
Denmark would get out to an early lead but the Finnish attack would respond to tie it and move ahead. Tuomas Pihlman’s power play goal in the second period would give Finland a lead that it would not relinquish.
Denmark started the game in good form. They played Finland close, generating good chances on Karri Ramo, who made his World Championship debut in goal. It was that solid effort that saw them grab a 1-0 lead.
Denmark would get on the board with a Julian Jakobsen goal off a nifty pass from Mads Christensen at 10:03.
As in Finland’s opening game of the tournament, Antti Mietinnen scored their first goal, this time his marker would tie the score at one. He was alone on Sebastien Dahm’s right side to pick up a rebound and fire it home.
"We had a bad start to the game," said Anssi Salmela. "But we did not panic and eventually got going."
Miettinen scored his second of the game at 14:42 of the second period. Miettinen shot the puck and Dahm made the initial save. But the rebound would not be stopped as Dahm was down and Miettinen shot high.
For Miettinen, it was his third goal of the tournament, marking a personal best. At the 2002 and again at the 2006 World Championships, Miettinen scored two goals each time in tournament play. He’s coming off a season where he enjoyed personal highs of 15 goals and 34 points with the Minnesota Wild.
With 8:09 remaining in the game, Niko Kapanen fired a shot through the five-hole on Dahm to make it 4-1. Miettinen and Petteri Nummelin got the assists.
Kapanen would strike again in the waning seconds of the game with his second of the period making it 5-1.
Finland next faces the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
"We are satisfied with our first two games but we need to get better against the Czechs," said Tommi Santala. "That is going to be a tougher game."
For Denmark, Wednesday’s game against Norway is pivotal. A win moves Denmark into the Qualifying Round whereas a loss means Relegation Round play and a fight to stay in the top division of World Championship play.
The game features a rematch of emerging hockey rivals. It was Norway that beat Denmark in the Olympic Qualifier to rob them of a chance at being in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.