World Juniors

Nightmare Finish For Finns

Down 3-1 late in third, Russia comes back to win 4-3 in overtime.

Sunday, 01.2.2011 / 11:05 PM ET / World Juniors
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Nightmare Finish For Finns
Finland/Russia Highlights
By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com

Oh so close.

Finland was less than five minutes from moving on to the semifinals to face arch rival Sweden. Up 3-1 thanks to a Joonas Donskoi power play goal 2:24 into the third period, his third game with a goal and fourth straight game with a point, Finland was looking strong.

It all came crashing down as Russia woke up and potted two goals in a span of 2:03 to tie it and then recorded the game-winner off the stick of Yevgeni Kuznetsov as he scored top shelf with 3:16 to play in overtime to win it 4-3.

"Just a nightmare," said a dejected Donskoi who finished with the goal on two shots. "We were so close but then we lost it. I don't know. Just a nightmare."

Russia would get to within one with 3:41 left to play. Jamming away at the puck, Kuznetsov would get the puck to just eke by the goal line for a power play goal. He would then set up the tying goal off a great individual effort. He skated around a Finnish defenseman before putting a shot on net. Finland's netminder Joni Ortio made the save but the puck laid in the crease. There Maxim Kitsyn would crash the net and put home the puck before a Finnish defender could swat away.

Donskoi's goal coming in the beginning of the period as he followed up on his own shot to put it past D Shikin should have been the clincher. Or at least the eventual game-winner. It was neither.

"Of course it's never over," said Donskoi. "The third period was just starting. I thought we were going to make it.

"I don't know what happened."

Russia would strike first, thanks to help from the Finns.

Finland/Russia Highlights
Creating good pressure in the offensive zone, Yuri Urychev sent a shot from the point zipping for Ortio. Stationed to the right of the netminder, Finnish captain Sami Vatanen would get his stick on the puck and redirect it up and over his teammates shoulder 10:10 into the first.

Down, the Finns would get the equalizer off two great plays by Iiro Pakarinen. The forward stole the puck in the neutral zone and after taking a few strides, put a shot on Shikin. The netminder made the save but couldn't completely the rebound. Following his own shot, Pakarinen picked up the puck, worked his way around the back of the net and sent a pass out to Teemu Pulkkinen and there the forward put the puck into the open net as Shikin got caught up with the net.

Finland and Russia traded chances throughout most of the second period.

7:37 in, Pakarinen rang one off the crossbar on a rush. Ortio would have to make a save onYevgeni Kuznetsov on the ensuing rush.

Then with 8:24 left, Vatanen made up for the redirected goal by breaking up a Russian two-on-one break, sliding and getting his stick on the pass.

Ortio's best save(s) came with 2:45 to play in the second. In the butterfly, he denied Kitsyn on the ititial shot and then again while on the ice with his paddle on the goal line.

Those saves would spark Finland as they came down on the next shift to score.

Causing a turnover in the neutral zone, Julius Junttila skated in all alone and put the puck top shelf over Shikin's right shoulder for the 2-1 lead.

Working on several power plays in a row, Donskoi converted off his own rebound 2:24 into the third to double the Finns lead.

Finland will now have to regroup as they face Switzerland on Tuesday as the two teams battle it out for fifth place. Finland shut out Switzerland 6-0 during the preliminaries.

"We have got to win that game...that's it," said Donskoi.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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