Bad luck sends Finland to semis, Canada out at WJC

Associated Press
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Oh, Canada.

No, not the country’s national anthem, but rather their rotten luck in overtime of their quarterfinal game against Finland at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver on Wednesday night.

Both teams fought to a hard 1-1 draw through the first 60 minutes of the game, forcing a sudden-death overtime frame.

Canada has never come up empty-handed at a WJC when played on home soil, but all good things must come to end eventually. But maybe a country could have been let down a little easier?

Canada was given a golden opportunity to end the game when they were awarded a penalty shot just after the one-minute mark of the extra frame. Step up Maxime Comtois, Canada’s captain:

OK, back to the drawing board.

Their second golden opportunity to send themselves to the semis came shortly after.

Noah Dobson of Canada had the game on his stick after a beautiful cross-ice pass Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was nowhere to be found in the Finnish crease. All Dobson had to do was get good wood on it and Canada was moving on.

Instead, this happened:

How much are those sticks worth again?

Utunen’s shot went off the stick of Glass, past Vancouver Canucks prospect goaltender Michael DiPietro, sending Finland into a frenzy and Canada into the can.

Ouch.

Finland moves onto the semifinals against Switzerland, who provided the first big upset of the day by defeating Sweden 2-0 in the other quarterfinal.

The United States was up 2-0 in the third period against the Czech Republic in the third quarterfinal game of the day.

Russia, meanwhile, will face Slovakia later on Wednesday.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck