Finland moves on top
by Andrew Podnieks|07 JAN 2019
After blowing a 2-0 lead, Finland rallied late in the third to defeat Switzerland.
photo: Robert Hradil / HHOF-IIHF Images
Finland overcame penalty trouble in the first period and went on to defeat Switzerland 4-2 in the Group B section of the Women’s World U18 Championship in Obihiro.
Viivi Vainikka scored the winning goal at 13:07 of the third after the Swiss had scored two goals early in the period to erase a 2-0 deficit. Vainikka pushed in a rebound off a mad scramble after Nelli Laitnen fired a shot on goal that Saskia Maurer couldn’t handle.
The result puts Finland on top of Group B with six points and keeps the Swiss in a tie with the Czechs, each with three points. Japan trails with nothing to show after two regulation losses. Finland now has qualified for the quarter-finals, and the other spot in the group is still up for grabs.
After an off day tomorrow, the standings will be resolved with two games on Wednesday. Japan, needing a win to possibly avoid the Relegation Round, will play the Swiss in the early game after which Finland and the Czechs play. 
Tonight, the Finns killed off four penalties in the opening 20 minutes, including a three-on-five for nearly a minute. In the second, Julia Liikala got the Finns on the board at 4:51, and they got a second late as well.
Elisa Holopainen made it 2-0 with just 1:14 left in the second, but the Swiss cut the lead to a goal early in the third thanks to Anna Neuenschwander at 2:16. Just one minute later, Laura Christen tied the game, stunning the Finns who had been seemingly in control. 
Switzerland vs. Finland (2019 IIHF WW18)