Anttila scores double, assists for 1 to take Finns to WC semi-final

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Anttila scores double, assists for 1 to take Finns to WC semi-final

Legendary right winger Marko Anttila scored two goals and assisted for one to take host Finland to the semi-final in the Ice Hockey World Championship late Thursday night.

Sakari Manninen and Saku Mäenalanen also scored one goal each to ensure victory for the Lions against Slovakia by four goals to 2 in the quarter-final in Tampere Nokia Arena.

Although two early scores by Adam Sykora and Pavol Regenda at the ninth and 17th minutes took lead for Slovakia, the Finns immediately came back from the behind in the tight match and finally snatched the victory.

Anttila, the hero of the 2019 world championship, who also upheld legendary status to win gold in 2022 Beijing Olympic and silver in 2021 world championship in Riga, scored the first goal for the Finns at 19th minute and scored again at 24th minute to level the score.

The Slovakians made the match difficult for the Finns by putting huge pressure and created several opportunities but failed to make any more score in the match.

The Finns also created pressure on the Slovakians and Sakari Manninen scored the third goal at the 45th minutes and took the 3-2 lead for Finland.

When the Slovakians were trying to level the score at the finishing minutes and playing keeping the net empty, at certain stage Anttila entered into the Slovakia end at the final minute and passed to Mäenalanen sacrificing his hattrick opportunity to make sure the fourth goal and Mäenalanen finished perfectly to ensure 4-2 victory for the Lions.

Finland will face USA in the semi-final on Saturday.

Earlier in the first round of the tournament, Finland beat Norway by 5-0, Latvia by 2-1, USA by 4-1, Great Britain by 6-0, Austria by 3-0 and Czech Republic by 3-0 while lost to Sweden in tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, in three other quarter-finals Canada beat Sweden by 4-3 in extra time, USA beat Group A champion Switzerland 3-0 and Czech Republic beat Germany 4-1.

Canada will face Czech Republic in the semi-final on Saturday.

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