BRECLAV/PIESTANY – Finland will try and stop Canada from claiming its 17th gold medal at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka tournament final today.
Canada avenged an exhibition game loss to the host Czech Republic with a 5-2 win in the semi-final game, propelling the defending Ivan Hlinka Memorial champions into the gold medal game. Earlier on Friday, Finland defeated Sweden 5-4, coming back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to win in overtime.
Against the Czech Republic, goals from Sam Reinhart, Nic Petain, Max Domi, and Bo Horvart coupled with a Canadian defence that held the Czechs to 12 shots on net, keyed the country to its fourth straight victory in the 2012 tournament and its fifth consecutive trip to the gold medal game.
“There’s not a lot of pressure but we do want to get our names up there too,” he said. “We didn’t have anything to do with those teams winning but we want to make a name for ourselves so the drive is there.”
The Canadians were led by Reinhart, the 16-year-old captain who recorded four points in the game. The Vancouver native, who earlier in the year won bronze at the IIHF U18 World Championship, scored his third goal of the tournament 1:13 into the second period. He later assisted on scores by Nic Petain and Max Domi.
The Czech team fell into penalty trouble in the first period, giving up am early power play goal to Canadian forward Bo Horvat but still managing to get out of the frame tied 1-1 thanks to Rob Lubos’ score at 19:48. Lubos notched his team’s only other goal in the third period, but Horvat put the game out of reach with his second at 13:30.
Canada will move on to play Finland in the gold medal game. Thanks to a goal 1:34 into overtime, Finland edged rivals Sweden 5-4 in the other semi-final and advanced to the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament gold game for the first time since 2007.
Felix Westermarck netted the winner in extra time, giving Finland the victory in a game that saw Sweden score three unanswered goals in the second period to go up 3-2 and push their Nordic rivals to the brink of elimination. But the momentum swung back Finland’s way in the third period as the Finns knotted up the score 4-4 with goals from Jonatan Tanus and Janne Puhakka.
In the placement games, the United States defeated Slovakia, 5-3 to claim seventh place, while Russia won 7-5 over Switzerland to claim fifth in the standings.
Ivan Hlinka Memorial
Group A in Breclav (CZE): Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, USA
Group B in Piestany (SVK): Canada, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland
Schedule & Scores:
Monday, 13 August 2012
In Piestany (14:00): Switzerland vs. Canada 1-4
In Breclav (15:30): USA vs. Russia 1-2 SO
In Piestany (17:30): Slovakia vs. Sweden 3-7
In Breclav (19:00): Czech Republic vs. Finland 1-2
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
In Piestany (14:00): Canada vs. Sweden 7-5
In Breclav (15:30): Russia vs. Finland 6-1
In Piestany (17:30): Slovakia vs. Switzerland 0-4
In Breclav (19:00): Czech Republic vs. USA 5-2
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
In Piestany (14:00): Sweden vs. Switzerland 8-4
In Breclav (15:30): Finland vs. USA 8-6
In Piestany (17:30): Slovakia vs. Canada 2-3
In Breclav (19:00): Czech Republic vs. Russia 3-2
Friday, 17 August 2012
In Piestany, 7th-place game (14:00): Slovakia vs. USA 3-5
In Breclav, 5th-place game (15:30): Russia vs. Switzerland 7-5
In Piestany, Semi-final 1 (17.30): Sweden vs. Finland 4-5 OT
in Breclav, Semi-final 2 (19:00): Czech Republic vs. Canada 2-5
Saturday, 18 August 2012
In Breclav, bronze (17:00): Czech Republic vs. Sweden
In Piestany, final (15:00): Canada vs. Finland