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World Juniors

Finns Power By Slovakia

Panthers prospect Joonas Donskoi registers point in third straight game in victory.

Friday, 12.31.2010 / 3:52 PM ET / World Juniors
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Finns Power By Slovakia
Joonas Donskoi following Finland's 6-0 victory
By Glenn Odebralski for floridpanthers.com

Heading into the last game of the prelims, Finland's power play was anything but spectacular.

Granted they didn't have that many opportunities in the first place (six), but Finland had entered with just one power play goal, good for seventh best in the tournament in percentage (16.67%).

What could be a better fix-all than to play against a penalty prone Slovakian team (most penalty minutes/penalty minutes a game with 84/28 minutes).

Finland connected on three of their power plays, including two in the first period on their way to a 6-0 victory over Slovakia to give them 10 points and at least second place in Group A play headed into the medal rounds.

"The whole game was a good game. We really didn't give a lot of chances to Slovakia," said Panthers fourth-round pick (#99 overall in 2010 NHL Draft) Joonas Donskoi who finished with a goal on a game-high seven shots. "Playing with the system."

One of those goals on the man advantage came curtesy of Donskoi who has recorded points in three straight games (2-3-5) as he redirected Teemu Pulkkinen's point shot with 6:45 gone in the second period to make it a 4-0 advantage.

Netminder Joni Ortio following Finland's 6-0 victory
"I was just standing in front of the net and Pulkkinen slap shotted it to the net so I just got my stick on it and it went in," said Donskoi.

"After the last game, we talked about some things. It's a simple game. A lot of shots through guys and on the net so they goals came."

The Finns got on the board early in the contest. Just 1:40 in to be exact. Julius Junttila took a shot that hit Slovakian netminder Juraj Holly. The puck bounced up and with his back to the goal Miikka Salomaki batted it in off of Holly off a floater. The play went to review but was deemed a good goal.

Jyrki Jokipakka made it 2-0 on Finland's first power play attempt of the night as he beautifully redirected a Toni Rajala pass from the point 6:32 into the first.

On their second power play, Teemu Pulkkinen sent a howitzer off the post and then the cross bar while Erik Haula made it 3-0 as he put the puck over Holly's right shoulder off a rush up the right side. That tally came with 9:24 remaining in the first.

"We've been battling through it for four games now and it's paid off," said Haula of the power play. "I'm really proud of our guys and we just have to keep it coming and play the next game as hard as we can in the next round."

Donskoi almost made it 4-0 with 4:32 to play in the opening period as he tried to stuff one by Holly. The play went to video review but the video judge found that the puck had not crossed the goal line.

Erik Haula following Finland's 6-0 victory
Just under three minutes following Donskoi's power play goal in the second Haula would net his second of the game off a shorthanded two-on-one break. Holly would get a piece of it but it would not be enough on the play or for him on the night as he was pulled following the goal.

A Slovakia turnover created by Jaako Turtiainen in the Slovak's zone led to Finland's sixth goal as Valtteri Virkkunen took the pass from Teemu Tallberg and snapped it past Dominik Riecicky with 2:21 left in the second.

Causing havoc once again in the offensive zone, Donskoi would clank one off the post with 9:57 left in third.

"Maybe I should have scored four or five goals," joked Donskoi. "If you don't shoot, you never score so seven shots is good. We had good scoring chances so hopefully it will be better the next game."

Riecicky came up with several big saves in succession, including one on Tallberg with 5:16 left to play. Then with 2:11 left Jokipakka made a nice move around a Slovak defenseman but Joel Armia rang the puck off the post off the feed.

If the United States falls to Switzerland in the night cap then Finland would finish first in Group A. If The US wins (in regulation or overtime) then Finland would finish second and the group and would play the Russia/Czech Republic game in the quarterfinals on Sunday. But for Donskoi and the Finns, it doesn't matter who they play or when.

"Tough games now. The real games start," said Donskoi. "It's really exciting and I don't know who it's going to be against but that doesn't matter. We're going to win for sure."




1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

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