Finland defeats Canada for gold at hockey worlds
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Marko Anttila helped lead Finland to its third world hockey title, scoring the tying and go-ahead goals in a 3-1 victory over Canada on Sunday.
Anttila tied it at 1 on a power play early in the second period, and the Finnish captain made it 2-1 early in the third. Harri Pesonen added an insurance goal with five minutes to play.
"It's awesome,'' Finland forward Toni Rajala said. "It's something that you know might only happen once in your life, but even before the game it felt great. I wasn't too nervous about it. I was enjoying it. The team played an awesome game again. We played together, played 60 minutes. Kevin [Lankinen] was awesome in the net. We were blocking shots. They were good today, but we were a little bit better. Three goals was enough.''
"It's an amazing feeling,'' forward Jere Sallinen said. "I don't even know how we won. It's unbelievable. We're a pretty good hockey country. Maybe it's a miracle on ice, something like that. Going back to Helsinki is going to be amazing. I think there's a lot of people waiting there for us. Anttila -- he's a beauty.''
Matt Murray stopped 19 shots for a Canada roster that combined to score 357 goals in the 2018-19 NHL season. Finland's roster combined to score zero.
Canada took home its second silver medal in the past three years after winning back-to-back gold medals in 2015 and '16. Finland won gold in 1995 in Sweden and 2011 in Bratislava.
"It was a long tournament. A lot of fun, a lot of good guys,'' Canadian defenseman Damon Severson said. "I think we deserved a medal. We had some spells where maybe we didn't, but overall we played a really good tournament. It's unfortunate we got the wrong medal. Finland played a good game -- the only team to beat us in this tournament was them, twice, and they played some good hockey.''
Anttila also scored Saturday in Finland's 1-0 victory over Russia. The Finns knocked off two-time defending champion Sweden in the quarterfinals. Draft-eligible Kaapo Kakko led the team with six goals.
Earlier, Russia beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout for third place. Russia was outshot 50-30 through 70 minutes of play, including 10 minutes of sudden-death 3-on-3 overtime, then outscored the Czech Republic 2-0 in the shootout on goals from Ilya Kovalchuk and Nikita Gusev.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.