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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.




1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Jagr 48 16 21 12 37
J. Huberdeau 51 10 27 11 37
A. Barkov 41 15 19 13 34
J. Jokinen 51 9 24 12 33
V. Trocheck 51 17 15 4 32
R. Smith 51 16 15 12 31
B. Pirri 47 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 47 10 12 23 22
B. Campbell 51 4 15 17 19
N. Bjugstad 36 9 8 -3 17
R. Luongo 23 13 4 .930 2.11
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

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