A bad bounce here, a broken stick there, and some of the strangest misfires of an always-strange tournament sank Canada's hopes of a gold medal at the 2019 World Junior Championships on Wednesday, January 2. A hard-charging Finnish squad that wouldn't take no for an answer got the bounces and made some of their own in a 2-1 victory.

Ian Mitchell scored for Canada, while Aleksi Heponiemi and Toni Utunen replied for the Finns, with Utunen scoring the overtime winner. Michael DiPietro stood on his head, turning aside 39 of 41 shots in the loss, while Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 22 shots for Finland.

Mitchell's goal broke the scoreless deadlock midway through the second period when he followed up a rush by Barret Hayton and sniped home his first of the tournament over Luukkonen's left shoulder. Despite furious pressure by the Finns, it seemed DiPietro's heroics would be enough to steal a win.

Then, with just 46 seconds to play, Finland, who had generated so much of their own luck, got a little handed out to them. Eeli Tolvanen's shot from below the goal line hit Heponiemi in the shinpad and bounced off the paddle of DiPietro's stick, under his arm and into the net.

Overtime saw Canada's best chances of the game. Captain Max Comtois was stopped on a penalty shot early in the extra frame after teammate Evan Bouchard was hauled down on a breakaway. Under IIHF rules, head coach Tim Hunter was allowed to select his shooter. Though Comtois had been the team's best shooter in practice, according to Hunter, Luukkonen turned him aside.

Then, as Canada broke in 3-on-2, Noah Dobson appeared to have most of the net to shoot at on the one-timer. He made contact with the puck, but his stick shattered at the moment he pulled the trigger. 

Back the other way came Finland, and Utunen took a shot that pinballed off the stick of a Canadian defender and over DiPietro's shoulder for the game winner. 

The loss means that, for the first time in tournament history, Canada will not win a medal despite being the host country. Finland will face the surprising Swiss, who upset Sweden in another quarterfinal, on Friday.  

More Sports News

Bantam Sharks do well in Regina over the Weekend

The Estevan Sharks Bantam (u14) boys and girls travelled up to Regina on Saturday, January 12 for their fourth tournament of the season. The boys started out playing their toughest opponent of the…

Big Six: High Flying Offences Between Rockets and Flyers

An important game for both teams, the Redvers Rockets met the Wawota Flyers at home Wednesday night with places in the standings going to change no matter what. For the Rockets, a win would put them…

Midget Bruins Need Overtime To Dispatch Argos

Overtime was necessary but the Estevan midget AA Apex Bruins were able to win 4-3 last night over the Notre Dame Argos. The Bruins allowed the Argos’ Robby Rabroker to score the tying goal with 2:02…

Big Six: Huskies Run The Score Up Over Combines

Since the holiday season, the Oxbow Huskies have started to pick up their play for the better. After they had a tought loss to Carnduff, they got their first win over the Bienfait Coalers in 4 years,…

Big Six Sunday: Flyers Host Wheat Kings

One team at the top of the league, the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, traveled to Wawota to take on a team that very well could be at the top of the league as well if they had a few more games under their…

Midget AA Bruins Win Two Over Yorkton

There were pair of huge wins over the weekend for the Estevan Apex midget AA Bruins as they beat the Yorkton Terriers 9-2 Friday and 5-0 Saturday at Affinity Place. The Bruins jumped out to a 5-0…

Big Six Sunday: Flyers Host Wheat Kings

One team at the top of the league, the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, traveled to Wawota to take on a team that very well could be at the top of the league as well if they had a few more games under their…

Midget AA Bruins Win Two Over Yorkton

There were pair of huge wins over the weekend for the Estevan Apex midget AA Bruins as they beat the Yorkton Terriers 9-2 Friday and 5-0 Saturday at Affinity Place. The Bruins jumped out to a 5-0…

Big Six Saturday: Bienfait Stops Midale

With three games on tap for Saturday night, the top spot in the standings was on the line, as well as a six game winning streak, and last year's champion look to get back on a winning streak after…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login