World Juniors

Finns Beat Czechs For Third Straight Win

Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 6:40 PM ET / World Juniors
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Finns Beat Czechs For Third Straight Win
EDMONTON -- The Finnish National Junior Team has visions of making up for last year's sixth-place showing at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The Finns won their third straight game in the Group B preliminary-round pool, beating the Czech Republic 4-0 at Rexall Place on Saturday to finish second in the five-team field.
 
"It means a lot and it's good for Finland, good for our team and the boys," Finnish coach Raimo Helminen said. "It's always good to win because the confidence grows and grows and I hope that keeps going."
 
It's actually familiar territory for the blue and white.
 

2012 World Junior Championship

Canada cruises to 5-0 win over Czechs

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer
The Canadian National Junior Team could do no wrong in recording its second straight victory at the 2012 World Junior Championship on Wednesday, 5-0, against the Czech Republic. READ MORE ›

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After placing second in Group A last year, the Finns lost in the quarterfinals and then dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Switzerland in the fifth-place game to finish sixth -- its worst finish in six years.
 
Finnish goalie and Colorado Avalanche prospect Sami Aittokallio, who was the hero in Wednesday's 4-1 victory against Team USA with 38 saves, turned aside 36 shots in regarding his second win in as many starts.
 
"The goalie is important; that's the one big part, that your goalie is playing good," Helminen said. "Let's see the next game." When asked who his starter would be to open medal-round play on Monday, Helminen wouldn't admit whether Aittokallio or Christopher Gibson would get the nod.
 
"I'll tell you in two days," Helminen said.
 
The victory enabled Finland, which dropped an 8-1 decision to Canada on Monday, to secure the second seed in Group B. Canada, which will play the U.S. later on Saturday, has already clinched the top seed and an automatic bye into the semifinals.
 
Teemu Pulkkinen, a 2010 fourth-round draft choice (No. 111) of the Detroit Red Wings, scored his team-leading fifth goal of the tournament 3:37 into the third to give the Finns a 4-0 advantage. Pulkkinen, a 5-foot-10, 198-pound wing, scored four consecutive third-period goals on Friday in a 10-1 victory against Denmark.
 
"Today was big win for us," Pulkkinen said. "I think we will get easier team in the quarters, so it was a big win for us and we played pretty good. We made some mistakes, but the Czech couldn't score and we did when we had a chance."
 
Throughout the tournament, Pulkkinen has worked a line with Markus and Mikael Granlund, who was named Finland's player of the game. The trio hasn't disappointed Helminen.
 
"They have been together for a long time; Mikael and Teemu played before and the young Granlund (Markus) is the new guy on the line," Helminen said. "They work well together."
 
It's become apparent that the line creates problems for opposing defenses. They have accrued six goals and 19 points in four games.
 
"I think we have created chances and that's the key … creating chances," Mikael Granlund said. "All the games, we just need to focus on scoring and wins."
 
Finland opened a 3-0 lead at 14:17 of the first when Florida Panthers prospect Joonas Donskoi connected off assists from Joel Armia and Miikka Salomaki.
 
The Finns opened a 2-0 lead on a seemingly sluggish Czech squad in the first period on goals by Alexander Ruuttu and Miro Aaltonen. Ruuttu's goal came off a splendid across-the-crease look from Mikael Granlund with his team on the power-play at 11:42. Aaltonen's goal at 16:19 came on a wrist shot from between the circles that nicked a Czech defender's stick and went past goaltender Petr Mrazek.
 
The Czechs were coming off an emotional 5-2 victory against the U.S. less than 24 hours earlier -- a game in which Mrazek stopped 52 shots. It also didn't help that they were without standout defenseman David Musil, who was a surprise scratch. According to Czech assistant coach Jiri Fischer, Musil was suffering from dizziness.
 
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter: @mike_morreale

Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer

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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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