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Finland Ends Tourny On Low Note

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Joonas Donskoi following Finland's 3-2 shootout loss
By Glenn Odebralski for

After coming oh so close to making it to the semi-finals (four minutes to be exact), Finland had one last game to play in the World Junior Championships; for fifth place against Switzerland.

With nothing to play for other than the seeding, it was a penalty marred game in which Switzerland defeated Finland 3-2 in the shootout.

"It would have been nice to win but two overtime losses in this tournament to end it," said Donskoi. "We played ok hockey in this tournament."

Donskoi had a chance to win it in the shootout, shooting third for Finland but was denied by Swiss netminder Benjamin Conz. Yannick Herren would score the lone goal of the shootout in the fourth round.

"I tried to fake the shot to the stick side and then turn it to the glove side," said Donskoi. "I should have scored. There was a lot of space but it went straight to the glove"

Finland, who usually played with poise and had that attacking attitude, was outshot for the first time in the tournament, by the trapping, conservative Swiss team 31-23.

"This was a really bad game," said Donskoi. "We didn't have that passion. It wasn't there like games earlier. Switzerland earned the victory."

For Donskoi, he finished third on his team in scoring with six points, posting three goals and three assists in the six games. He also was a plus-five and had 17 shots on net.

"It was a really important tournament," said Donskoi. "It gave me a lot of confidence. It's nice to see that there's the best players in the world so it's nice to see how you play against them."

It didn't take long for the Finns to score, getting on the board 22 seconds into the game as Teemu Pulkkinen scored from outside the crease off a centering pass from Erik Haula.

Switzerland had an answer for that goal 2:34 later as Inti Pestoni deposited the rebound into the net off a scramble from in close.

With 1:57 left to play in the first, Haula would get behind forward Sven Bartschi, playing the point  on a Swiss powerplay, and after faking the shot put the puck top shelf with Conz out of position off the fake.

Again the Swiss would tie the game. This time it came with 5:23 gone in the second period. Islanders pick Nino Niederreiter took a quick shot  from the point on a power play that was deflected by Luca Camperchioli past Finnish netminder Joni Ortio.

Donskoi had an opportunity with 8:20 to play in the third to give Finland the lead but couldn't get his stick on the pass from in close on a Finnish power play.
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