MONTREAL, QC.–In today’s action in Buffalo, Finland coasted to a 4-0 victory over Switzerland while Canada outscored the Czech Republic 7-2, with two products of the Montreal Canadiens’ 2009 draft getting on the board for each of their countries.
Joonas Nättinen opened the scoring for the Finnish squad late in the first period, and would have also been credited with an assist had Joel Armia’s goal not been disallowed shortly beforehand. Nättinen was eventually rewarded with the game-winning goal and also named one of the players of the game. His line, which included forwards Armia and Toni Rajala, was noted as one of the strongest in this matchup. With the victory, Finland took over first place in Group A temporarily before the USA beat Slovakia 6-1 later on.
“I was in the right place, I guess. It was a bit lucky,” Nättinen said of his game-winning goal. “We knew they came out hard against Germany the last game and went ahead 4-0, so we wanted to make sure we were ready for them.”
Meanwhile, in a game that saw the Czech Republic jump out to an early lead thanks to a Antonin Honejsek goal 49 seconds in, Canada recovered despite losing Zack Kassian midway through the second period for an open-ice hit that landed forward Petr Senkerik in a stretcher. On the ensuing 5-minute penalty, Louis Leblanc and Brayden Schenn went on a 2-on-1 break that resulted in Leblanc pushing the puck behind Czech netminder Filip Novotny for a two-goal lead. Leblanc later cited the shorthanded goal as a turning point in the game, as from then on it was off to the races for Team Canada. Ryan Ellis, Cody Eakin, Tyson Barrie and Jared Cowen each followed up with tallies of their own, with the game resulting in a lopsided score compared to the start it was given.
The two teams will not have a chance to rest for very long, as Finland resumes action Wednesday afternoon against Germany for a 3:30 EST start at the HSBC Arena before Norway and Canada take centre stage at 7:30.