The Finns are now 19-2-0 in 21 WM games against Norway and have moved into a tie for 2nd place in the Group B standings. Their seven points equals Latvia, while Norway remains in 6th with three points.
"We trusted our own game and tried to play better and better," said Jere Innala, one of five scorers for the winners. "I think it was a good game after that first Norwegian goal today."
"I think they turned it up really well in the second period," offered Mathis Olimb. "I think they have four lines that are really calm with the puck and a good system so it was tough for us to create anything."
The game featured a single minor penalty, that to Norway, and a total of only 41 shots, 26 to Finland.
"We played okay, but we can play better," suggested Petri Kontiola. "Still, we worked really hard and created a lot of chances, so we have to keep doing that."
Finland controlled much of play after but couldn’t get many decent scoring chances. They managed to tie the game at 14:24 on a nice play by Atte Ohtamaa, one of the gold-medal winning returnees from 2019. He took a pass from Oliwer Kaski across the point, faked a shot to draw Tommy Kristiansen out, and then fired a quick shot under the blocker of Jonas Arntzen.
Finland took over in the second, scored two more goals, and hardly allowed Norway over its blue line. Anton Lundell made it a 2-1 game just 1:40 into the middle period when he took a stretch pass from Arttu Ruotsalainen and beat Arntzen over the glove.
Four minutes later they added to their lead. This time Jere Sallinen spotted Kim Nousiainen streaking through the middle and fed him a perfect pass. Nousiainen took aim and beat Arntzen over the shoulder, the third high shot of the game to beat the goalie.
"I passed to Sallinen on the blue line. He went in, and I watched him from the blue line. He passed me the puck in the middle, and I got a good shot off. It was my first World Championship game, so I was pretty nervous in the first period, but after that I felt more confident and played pretty well."
Norway started the third with a bang. Sondre Olden flipped the puck out where Matthais Trettenes corralled the loose disc and created a two-on-one. He passed across to Tobias Lindstrom, who made no mistake with the open side. That goal came just 1:13 into the period and gave the Norwegians life.
That life was taken away pretty quickly thanks to the first – and only – power play of the game. It went to Finland, and just 20 seconds later they converted when Innala cranked a one-timer from the back side of Arntzen. The Finns added to their lead at 13:25 off the rush. Saku Maenalanen's shot was blockered away by Arntzen, but Hannes Bjorninen scooped up the rebound and pushed it into the open goal for a 5-2 lead.
Norway is right back at it, playing 0-3 Canada tomorrow, while the Finns get to rest a day before hitting the ice against Italy on Thursday.