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Cody Hodgson has another solid night as Canada beats the Finns 7-3

NHL.com @NHL

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - John Tavares isn't the only offensive threat Canada will have at the world junior championship.

Cody Hodgson had a goal and two assists for the second straight game Sunday as Canada beat Finland 7-3 in an exhibition tuneup for the tournament.

The 18-year-old forward was one of the last players cut by the Vancouver Canucks earlier this year and has been a standout for Brampton in the Ontario Hockey League. Coach Pat Quinn has had Hodgson playing on a different line than Tavares at even strength, which should help balance the team's offensive attack.

Tyler Ennis, Brett Sonne, Stefan Della Rovere, Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle and Tavares also had goals for Canada, which plays a final exhibition game against Slovakia in Hamilton on Tuesday before opening the world junior tournament on Dec. 26 at Scotiabank Place.

Nestori Lahde, Tomi Sallinen and Jesse Jyrkkio replied for Finland.

The game was actually closer than the final score reflected. Jyrkkio's goal at 1:11 of the third period briefly tied it 3-3 before Canada exploded for four unanswered goals in less than nine minutes to seal the outcome.

Della Rovere's goal at 3:49 ended up counting as the winner. He was skating hard to the goal and had a shot go off his leg and behind Finnish goalie Juha Metsola, who plays for the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Hodgson then fed Tavares during a 5-on-3 power play at 6:48 before Benn and Eberle scored nine seconds apart.

The Finns played a much grittier style of game than Canada saw in its exhibition win over Sweden on Friday night. Finland did its best to match the home team physically, resulting in a fairly chippy game that included a few scrums after the whistle.

The Canadian team showed signs of rust early on. They were given two power plays in the first three minutes but didn't manage a shot on either, needing goalie Dustin Tokarski to stop a short-handed 2-on-1 and breakaway to keep the game scoreless.

Lahde opened the scoring at 8:36 of the first period after catching defenceman Alex Pietrangelo flat-footed and beating Tokarski on the rush.

Hodgson brought the sold out Hershey Centre to life at 15:26. He stole the puck from a Finnish defender and fed Ennis, who quickly beat Metsola.

The Finns went back ahead 2-1 at 8:27 of the second period on another play Pietrangelo might want back. The big defenceman chased the puck into the corner, leaving Sallinen alone in front to score.

Hodgson tied it just over two minutes later on a rebound before Sonne put Canada ahead 3-2 at 11:43, just moments after he'd hit the post with another shot.

Injured forward Dana Tyrell watched the game from the press box before travelling home to Airdrie, Alta., for Christmas. He suffered a serious injury to his left knee on Friday night and was replaced on the Canadian roster by Evander Kane.

In addition to missing the world junior championship, Tyrell's season with the WHL's Prince George Cougars is also over.

"It's tough and unfortunate," he said. "I'm going to stay positive. I can't get too down on myself because the way I think will affect my recovery."

It marks a quick reversal of fortune for the 19-year-old forward.

He signed an entry-level contract with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning two weeks ago and was understandably thrilled after being selected to the world junior team.

"I was on such a high but it all came crashing down," said Tyrell.

Notes: Four national team sledge hockey players put on an exhibition during the first intermission ... Canada has won a medal in 15 of its last 16 appearances at the world junior tournament ... Finland is a two-time gold medallist at the event, with the last coming on home ice in 1998 ... The Finnish team is carrying prospect Mikael Granlund, who is just 16 years old.

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