Canada wins Youth Olympic bronze
by Adam Steiss|22 JAN 2020
Canada are 2020 Youth Olympic bronze medallists. 
photo: Vedran Galijas /

It’s not the colour they wanted, but Canada can still be proud after coming back from a tough semi-final loss to defeat Finland 4-2 and go home with a bronze medal from the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

"The guys talked after our loss against the U.S.," said defenceman Noah Warren. "A rbonze medla is still a bronze medal and it seven more special at the Olympics. It's a dream come true to play here."

Down 3-1 in the third period, the Finns made things close with defenceman Elmeri Laakso earning his second goal of the game with a wristshot from the point midway through the frame.

But with six and a half to go, Otto Heinonen took an ill-timed slashing penalty that forced Finland on the defensive. The Lions killed the penalty but could not get the equalizer as Canada collected its second bronze medal to go with a silver in the three editions of Youth Olympic Games men’s ice hockey tournament.

"Obviously not the result we wanted, but at least we won a medal and won our last game, so that's a positive." said team captain Matthew Savoie. "But the boys came out hungry today. To come home with a medal rom the Youth Olympics is pretty cool."

Both teams came into the game smarting from losses in the semi-finals the day before, the Finns getting blown out 10-1 by Russia and Canada being edged out in a tight game 2-1 by USA.

Canada struck first two minutes into the game. Antonin Verreault brought the puck into the Finnish zone and rifled a shot from the left circle beating goalie Topias Leinonen under the arm short side for the 1-0 lead.

The Canadians scored again just over a minute later, this time with Nate Danielson coming in from the right circle, firing a shot and then jumpjng on his own rebound to put the Finns in a 2-0 hole early.

Verreault collected his second point of the game with some great work from behind the Finnish net, shaking off a defender and feeding a pass in front to Cedrick Guindon as Canada extended its lead to 3-0.

"We wanted to course to play in the finals," said Verreault. "But the guy talked and motivated each other to play in this game and make our country proud."

A lapse in discipline for Canada saw Finland cut the lead to two late in the first period. Matthew Savoie was sent to the box and received a 10-minute misconduct for boarding, then a hooking call on Pano Fimis gave the Finns a 5-on-3 advantage.  A one-time slapshot from the top of the circle by Elmeri Laakso blew past goaltender Vincent Filion to put the score at 3-1 and give Finland some life going into the first intermission.

We improved a lot compared to yesterday’s game against Russia and of course Canada is one of the best teams in the world," said Laakso. "Scoring efficiency was at a very high level today and that was the difference."

Finland couldn’t get anything going in the second period as they ran into penalty trouble, but were kept in the game by Leinonen who was forced to make a series of great stops to keep the deficit to two goals heading into the final frame.

But the Finns weren’t able to tie things up in the third, as Canada held on to the one-goal lead until Guindon hit an empty netter and the team celebrated a Youth Olympic bronze medal victory and a memorable experience in Lausanne.

"It's been amazing being here," said Verreault. "To meet so many countries, talk with them and exchange pins, its really unique and a great memory."

Canada vs. Finland (Bronze) - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Men)