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SEP 25
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SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 G A PTS
DYLAN COZENS
1 1 2
RYAN HARTMAN
1 1 2
KIRILL KAPRIZOV
1 1 2
LAWRENCE PILUT
- 2 2
MARCO ROSSI
- 2 2
CALEN ADDISON
1 - 1
NICK BLANKENBURG
1 - 1
VINNIE HINOSTROZA
1 - 1
LUKE KUNIN
1 - 1
ANTHONY MANTHA
1 - 1
MARKUS NIEMELAINEN
1 - 1
CONOR SHEARY
1 - 1
SPENCER SMALLMAN
1 - 1
JASON ZUCKER
1 - 1
RASMUS ASPLUND
- 1 1
NIC DOWD
- 1 1
MATT DUMBA
- 1 1
ANDREAS ENGLUND
- 1 1
ERIK GUSTAFSSON
- 1 1
TOMAS HERTL
- 1 1

OLEN ZELLWEGER'S THREE-POINT NIGHT HELPS CANADA CLAIM TOP SPOT IN GROUP A WITH WIN OVER FINLAND

AUG 15, 2022  (21H18)      COOPER GODIN
The final game of the preliminary round in Group A saw Canada take on Finland with massive playoff implications on the line. The winner of the game finishes first in Group A and will play Switzerland in the quarter-finals, while the loser will finish second in Group A and play the third place team in Group B, which will either be Sweden or Germany depending on the outcome of that tilt.

Finland controlled the play for the first six minutes of the first period, holding Canada to no shot on goal. Just over six minutes into the opening frame, defenceman Olen Zellweger threw the puck on net where it was tipped home by Brennan Othmann to give Canada the 1-0 lead.



Canada added to their lead on the power play about five minutes later. Ottawa Senators prospect Ridly Greig drove to the net with the puck where fellow Sens prospect and Finnish netminder Leevi Merilainen made the save, but it deflected back out in front where Barrie Colts forward Tyson Foerster buried it for his second in as many games making it 2-0 Canada.



With under three minutes remaining in the first period, Canada extended their lead following an absolutely lethal shot from projected 2023 first overall pick Connor Bedard. After nearly 90 seconds on the ice, captain Mason McTavish passed the puck across the neutral zone to Bedard, who skated into Finland's zone and rifled a shot bar down, short side on Merilainen to give Canada a 3-0 lead.



Just before the end of the period, Finland got one back. Los Angeles Kings prospect Samuel Helenius was alone near the top of the circle when he received a pass from Kalle Vaisanen. Helenius then fired a shot, which appeared to hit Canadian defenceman Ronan Seeley before beating Dylan Garand.



The scoring continued early-on in the second period. 31 seconds into the middle frame, Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy tipped an Olen Zellweger shot up high on Leevi Merilainen. The puck then came back out in front where Ridly Greig picked it up and fired it into the partially empty cage to extend Canada's lead to 4-1.



Canada wasn't done there. Later in the period on the power play, captain Mason McTavish blasted home a one-timer after a pass from Anaheim Ducks prospect Olen Zellweger to make it 5-1 Canada.



A bit of a weird situation arose early in the third period. The Finns took a shot that appeared to hit the netting above the glass and come back down, but there was no whistle from the officials and play continued. Shortly after, Joakim Kemell re-directed a Topi Niemela shot past Garand to give the Finns their second goal of the game.

Canada was not happy that the play wasn't blown dead and it went to a review. But because there wasn't a camera angle that could definitively show that the puck came out of play, the call on the ice stood and Finland cut Canada's lead to three.



A few minutes later, Canada found themselves in some penalty trouble. New York Rangers prospect Will Cuylle was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing. The penalty was reviewed by officials, but the call stood, meaning Cuylle was ejected from the remainder of the game. Luckily for head coach Dave Cameron, his penalty kill stood tall and killed off the whole five-minute major and nearly a minute of 5-on-3 play.



As the period was coming down to the final few minutes, the Finns got on the board once again. On the power play, Ottawa Senators prospect Roby Jarventie squeaked a shot off of Garand's glove and in to cut Canada's lead to only two.



Canada would go on to seal the win with an empty net goal courtesy of New York Islanders prospect William Dufour with less than two minutes left in the final frame.



With the win, Canada will finish first in Group A with a perfect record of 4-0-0-0 through four games and will go on to face Switzerland in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. For Finland, they'll place second in Group A and await the loser of the Germany/Sweden game later tonight.

Players of the Game

Canada: Ridly Greig
Finland: Aleksi Heimosalmi
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