Finland clinch Ice Hockey WC title

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Finland clinch Ice Hockey WC title

An extra-time goal by Sakari Manninen ensured the fourth Ice Hockey World Championship for Finland beating Canada by four goals to three in the final in Tampere Nokia Arena late Sunday night.

The match went to the extra time to settle the title as the stipulated time was ended with 3-3 draw.

Although Dylan Cozens scored at 24th minute to take lead for Canada, Mikael Granlund scored at 45th minute to level and widened the gap scoring again at 46th minute to take 2-1 lead for the Finns.

The Finns continued to create pressure on the Canadians and another goal by Joel Armia at 55th minute took the match result to 3-1 in favour of the Finns when only five minutes remained to end the match.

But the Canada players came back and started attack playing with empty net and a controversial goal by Zach Whitecloud at 58th minute reduced the gap to 3-2.

Although the referee first cancelled the goal due to a foul by Canadian player, later reversed the decision after checking video following demand by the Canadian coach, which frustrated the local vans and players.

The Canadians continued the pressure and Max Comtois leveled the score within a span of less than one minutes resulting two goals in the last two minutes to take the match to overtime.

The Lions started the extra-time match with new courage and Sakari Manninen´s goal at the 7th minute of the extra-time sealed the victory for the hosts.

Earlier, Finland became Ice Hockey World champion in 1995, 2011 and 2019.

With this, Finland and Canada faced each other in the Ice Hockey WC final for the third consecutive tournament.

The Lions became runners-up in 2021 World Championship held in Riga and became champion in 2019 World Championship held in Bratislava.

The tournament, however, was cancelled in 2020 against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak across the world.

Finland, also the champion of 2022 Beijing Olympic earlier, beat the United States of America in semi-final by 4-3 and Slovakia in the quarter-final by 4-2.

In the preliminary 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, Czech Republic won bronze in the tournament blowing the USA by 8 goals to 4.

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