Medals will be awarded today and the first game of the day will pit two powers, Finland and Russia, for bronze.
It’s a tough turnaround to go from losing in the semifinals to realizing your golden dreams less than 24 hours ago until ramping up. But there’s a lot at stake – the winner takes away gear while the loser leaves bubble hockey empty handed for the junior world.
“It will be difficult, of course, but of course they will. This is our last game, so I hope we bring a team effort,” Finland head coach Antti Pennanen said. after the semi-final loss to the United States.
“It’s hockey. Obviously it’s a loss and the boys are emotionally and mentally exhausted after the game,” noted Russian bench boss Igor Larionov after his team’s unbalanced loss to Canada. “Right now we have 24 hours to prepare for the game and to play our best hockey and try to win the bronze medal.”
Finland enter the game after a heartbreaking loss to the United States. The Finns who never say die fought back to level things at the end of the third before Arthur Kaliyev scored the winner with 76 seconds remaining. Russia just watched the jump against Canada and was left 5-0.
But don’t expect these two teams not to bring their A games to Tuesday night. Anton Lundell continues to be a driving force for the Finnish attack – his pressure led to the tying goal – while Kasper Simontaival scored two big goals to bring his tournament total to seven and tie Lundell for the team lead in goals (four). Finland’s defense has also been strong overall and Kari Piiroinen looked sharp at the net as the No.1 team.
“It was a really great trip with these guys to be here in the bubble. We always want to win the medal and be proud of this team,” Kasper Puutio said after the loss. “I will always give the best of ourselves and try to get the bronze medal.”
As for Russia, the team is propelled by its top-six with Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov in the lead with six points (two goals, four assists). Yaroslav Askarov looked less than stellar in the semifinals and continued to lose his stick for much of the first period that led to at least two goals for the Canadiens.
Sporting News has all the action as Finland and Russia battle for bronze.
(All Eastern hours)
Finland vs Russia score, highlights from 2021 World Juniors bronze medal match
6:37 p.m. – GOAL. Anton Lundell diverts Topi Niemela’s point shot on a solid Finnish forward check to take stock. It is Lundell’s fifth goal of the tournament and Niemela’s sixth assistant. Ville Heinola’s solid work on boards of directors has also helped to achieve this goal. Match tied 1-1.
6:31 p.m. – Fifteen seconds and Ville Heinola is called in for a high stick. Russia is heading for the power play. (They wouldn’t score)
6:31 p.m. – The second period is underway.
First period: Russia 1, Finland 0
6:12 p.m. – The first period is coming to an end. Russia came out quickly but Finland picked up their game over time. Remember: never count the Finns.
6:09 p.m. – Finland move closer as they touch the goal post.
6:05 p.m. – Finland made the break in 2 on 1 but Artemi Kniazev (SJS) broke Anton Lundell’s pass. The Finns improved their game after coming out flat.
6:03 p.m. – Askarov looks more like a first-round pick tonight.
6:02 p.m. – Now it’s Askarov with the big save as Aku Raty’s flow is perfect for two falling Finns, but Juuso Parssinen can’t do it.
6:00 p.m. – What a stop from Piiroinen as he flies point blank Rodion Amirov (Maple Leafs) out the gate. Amirov should have had an easy goal there as the puck deflected towards him. What a safeguard.
5:58 p.m. – With just under nine minutes left in the period, Askarov made a glove save on the second Finnish shot he saw the entire game.
5:46 p.m. GOAL. Russia is keeping the puck. Maxim Groshev with a fairly easy backhand on the net that Piiroinen does not corral and Ilya Sofonov buries the rebound. Russia leads 1-0.
5:45 p.m. – Podkolzin out of the pipe with a chance of deviation. Not a shot on goal, but Russia overtook the Finns 3-0.
5:43 p.m. – Yegor Chinakhov comes off the bench and breaks in on his own but Kari Piiroinen stops. A big heads-up goes through eligible Kirill Kirsanov in 2021 to get him out.
17:39 – Game on. Arseny Gritsyuk was injured against Canada and is sent off.
Before the match
17:34 – Quick note: Finland lost in the semifinals to Canada 5-0 in 2020, then lost in the bronze medal game to Sweden 3-2.
4:41 p.m. – Lines.
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