Friday night saw one team with Panthers players look to remain perfect at the World Championships while another team just wanted to avoid relegation.
Ville Peltonen along with Olli Jokinen and Finland won for the fourth time in four games, defeating Latvia 2-1 while Slovakia and Branislav Mezei earned a 5-1 victory over Slovenia, giving them the all-important first win in a best of three series against the Slovenians.
|Ville Peltonen (Getty Images) |
Just call the Finns the cardiac team of the tournament. Three of their four wins have come by one goal, and against the Latvians, they had to come back to earn the 2-1 victory.
Latvia found the back of the net quickly after the opening face off as Lauris Darzins scored 1:27 into the contest. And despite throwing up an astonishing 36 shots on net, the Finns could not beat Latvia netminder Edgars Masalskis. That’s almost two shots (1.8) a minute Finland put on net, and yet they couldn’t buy a goal. Jokinen had seven of those shots in the period.
Finland finally found a way to beat Masalskis midway through the second period when Antti Pihlstrom scored 9:21 in.
The teams found themselves deadlocked heading into the final period and Finland continued to control play. Nikko Kapanen would end up scoring the only goal of the period when his shot found the back of the net with 9:56 remaining in regulation. That stood tall as the game winner as Niklas Backstrom turned away all 10 shots he faced in the third.
Finland finished with a 64-27 edge in shots during the game
Jokinen was credited with 11 shots on net and 19:14 of ice time while Peltonen had nine shots on goal on 21:47 of ice time.More Information
|Branislav Mezei (Getty Images) |
Looking to be up 1-0 in their best of three series instead of down 1-0, Slovakia jumped on the board early. Just 2:58 in to be exact as Robert Petrovicky scored on a Slovakian power play attempt to give Slovakia the 1-0 lead.
The teams headed into the intermission with that 1-0 score and coming out of the break, the offenses opened it up. The two teams combined for five goals in the middle frame.
Minnesota’s Marcel Hossa scored the eventual game winner 6:43 in while Andrej Podkonicky made the score 3-0 with 9:26 remaining. Mitja Robar’s goal gave Slovenia their first and only of the contest with 6:40 remaining but Slovakia would eventually put the game out of reach. Andrej Kollar scored with 4:04 remaining and Ivan Ciernik made the score 5-1 when his shot beat the Slovenian netminder 36 seconds later.
Mezei had a shot on net in 12:30 of ice time.More Information