Finland won its group in the FIFA U-18 World Cup in ice hockey. The Little Lions lost their last match in the group stage against the United States, 4-5 after extra time, but got the points needed to secure the group’s victory.
The match was very enjoyable as the team took turns for the upper hand.
The hosts USA took the lead in the 9th minute, but Finland equalized after just 30 seconds, via Phil Koivonen. Juho Järvelä found the right person at the end of the first half, and Finland led 2-1 in the second half.
The United States was more intense in the middle of the period and turned the match with two strokes to 3-2.
Finland does not give up
Little Leo has shown evidence of mental strength several times in the tournament and the match against the United States was no exception. Point king Samu Tomala leveled 3-3 early in the third game, and Sisu Yelenyemi put Finland ahead just over six minutes before the end.
Two minutes later, the United States earned a penalty, but Aku Koskinfo blocked Lyn Hutson’s attempt.
On the other hand, Tay Gallagher managed to beat Kuskenfu, but the equalizer came just two seconds later, so Finland’s victory in the group was no longer threatened.
Sasha Bastoghoff scored the winning goal in overtime, but Smålejonen had already secured the group’s victory at that point.
Tuomaala and Koivunen on the hook again
Samu Tomala and Phil Kuvonen were Finland’s top scorer against the United States. Both are included in the 1 + 1 list. Tomala is third in scoring in the tournament with 5 + 4, while Kuvonen is fourth at 4 + 5.
Finland star Brad Lambert and key midfielder Oliver Cabanen, who was injured in the opening match, are still out of the squad.
In the quarter-finals, Finland will face Switzerland, who finished fourth in Group Two. The match takes place either Monday night or Tuesday night. The quarter-finals schedule has yet to be decided.
The other quarter-final matches are: Canada – the Czech Republic, Russia – Belarus, and the United States – Sweden.
USA-Finland 5-4 (1–2, 2–0, 1–2, 1–0)
08.13 Duke Dylan (Jack Hughes, Sasha Bastoghoff) 1-0
08.33 Phil Coevonen (Tobias Feline, Samo Tumala) 1–1
16.05 Juhu Yarvela (Niko Hotanin) 2-1
21.18 Charlie Strammell (Aidan Hershock) 2-2
33.46 Isaac Howard (Lan Hatson) 3-2
40.29 Tuomaala (Koivunen, Samu Salminen) 3–3
53.26 Siso Yeleniemi (Filigami Gossola, Miku Matika) 3-4
59.58 T Gallagher (Stramel, Liam Gilmartin) 4-4
60.57 Bastogov 5-4