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World Championship

Canada seeking 27th IIHF World Championship with win against Finland

Would tie tournament record; Russia to play Czech Republic for bronze medal

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Canada and Finland will play for the gold medal at the 2019 IIHF World Championship at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sunday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN).

A championship for Canada would be its first since 2016 and would tie Russia/USSR for the most in tournament history with 27.

"I didn't really have any expectations coming in to the tournament because you never really know what is going to happen," Canada goalie Matt Murray (Pittsburgh Penguins) told Hockey Canada's website. "I just try to go out there and play and do what I can to help the team. Obviously we're excited and thrilled and just thankful for the opportunity to play for a gold medal."

Murray made 40 saves in a 5-1 win against the Czech Republic in the semifinals Saturday. Forward Mark Stone (Vegas Golden Knights) scored his tournament-high eighth goal and had an assist.

Finland advanced with a 1-0 victory against Russia in the other semifinal. Marko Anttila scored off a rebound in the slot with 9:42 left in the third period.

Kevin Lankinen (Chicago Blackhawks) made 32 saves for his second shutout of the tournament.

"[Lankinen] looked so confident," Anttila told the IIHF website. "No rebounds. Everything was perfect."

Lankinen made 20 saves in Finland's 3-1 win against Canada on May 10 in the first game of the tournament.

Since then, Canada has won eight straight, outscoring its opponents 43-11.

"We just need to focus on doing what we need to do and doing the things that make us a good team," Murray told Hockey Canada's website. "[Finland] is going to be a good test for us again. I was very impressed the last time we played against them. We know they're a good team, so it's going to be a good game."

Also Sunday, Russia and the Czech Republic will play for the bronze medal (9:30 a.m. ET; NHLN). Russia will try to win a medal for the fifth time in the past six tournaments. The Czech Republic's last medal was a bronze in 2012.

The game will feature two of the tournament's top three scorers. Russia forward Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning) has six goals and 10 assists, and Czech Republic forward Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers) has four goals and 12 assists. They are tied for second with 16 points, two behind Sweden forward William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs), who has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists).

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