Finland wins bronze
by Erin Brown|13 JUN 2022
Finland captured its third bronze medal at the women's U18 level.
photo: Micheline Veluvolu / HHOF-IIHF Images
Sanni Vanhanen scored one hat trick and completed another.

The 16-year-old Vanhanen provided all the goals in Finland 3-0 victory over Sweden in the bronze-medal game of the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.

For Vanhanen, who also plays on Finland's senior women's national team, it was the third bronze in her young career. She also earned medals at the 2021 World Championship and 2022 Olympics.

"I like to win," Vanhanen said with a smile. "But I would like to have silver or gold next time."

Emilia Kyrkko recorded 35 saves for her second shutout of the tournament.

"She played very well," Vanhanen said. "She was MVP on our team for the whole tournament. I'm thankful she gave all she had."

Coming into the game, Vanhanen had just three assists. But she finally got on the board with 4:56 remaining in the second period to break a deadlock.

With Sweden's Ida Karlsson in the box for tripping, Finland capitalized on a power play.

Vanhanen took a pass from Adalmiina Makkonen at the point, skated toward left faceoff dot and fired a wrist shot over Jonsson's left shoulder and into the top, far corner. Tilli Keranen picked up the secondary assist on the play.

"I think when I scored the first one, it relaxed me and the others game in time," Vanhanen said. "It was personally important for me to score and help the team win."

She doubled Finland's lead 6:36 into the third period.

Carrying on a 2-on-1, Vanhanen's second goal of the game mirrored her first. She skated to the left faceoff dot and beat Jonsson on the far, blocker side.

Just under five minutes later, she put a shot off the crossbar and in to give Finland a commanding 3-0 lead.
Finland vs Sweden (Bronze) - 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship
FIN SWE 14 JUN 2022
Coach Madeleine Ostling pulled Jonsson with five minutes remaining, and it led to what appeared to be Sweden's first goal.

After Kyrkko Mira Jungaker's shot from the right point and fell on it in the crease to cover and slid into the net as Swedish captain Nicole Hall crashed the net. The Finns challenged the play, though, and it was overturned for goaltender interference.

"I think it should have been a goal," Hall said. "That's all I can say."

"I think we deserved a goal at least," Sweden coach Madeleine Ostling said. "If we maybe got that goal with five minutes left, we would have good confidence with playing 6-on-5 against Finland. We'd feel maybe they were a little shaky. It could have turned the game around, but unfortunately it wasn't a good goal."

Jonsson finished with 21 saves in the loss.

"I'm really proud of the team," Hall said. "They did everything for each other. We did everything we could have done."

Sweden and Finland look tired, skating at a slower pace after facing the United States and Canada, respectively, in tight semi-final contests. On Sunday, Sweden nearly upset an undefeated American squad, while Finland only fell to Canada in the last half of the third period.

"I think first of all it as a pretty slow game from the two teams," Ostling said. "We were tired from yesterday. In my mind, Finland was also tired. We said that we really wanted to get the first goal because that creates a lot of energy and it's unfortunately Finland got that one. It was a deep (hole) from that one."

After a showing at this event in which both teams pushed the the United States and Canada to their limits, both coaches are eager to see if their teams can an upset the current order at next year's tournament in Sweden.

"I said after the game yesterday, I wanted the U.S.A and Canada to actually respect Sweden as they should," Ostling said. "We need to show how good we are and we did. I think both Finland and Sweden have had a great tournament and I think the U.S. and Canada feel that they need to push a little bit otherwise we're coming."

Added Kuisma: "We know now that we have a chance. We're going to continue our work. But first, we'll vacation."
Finland vs Sweden (Bronze) - 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship