Monday, 29 December 2014

Live Blog: Canada Versus Finland

I haven't live-blogged a World Junior Championship game yet, so tonight seems like a good time to do that. I have a feeling that I might use a lot of Finnish/finish puns, so be prepared. Canada and Finland are preparing for an important game in both their championship runs this year, and I'll be looking for things that can and should be improved upon from the Canadian squad. Canada and Finland starts momentarily!


  • Zach Fucale gets the start for Canada. It appears that Juuse Saros will take the blue ice for Finland. This is a future NHL matchup, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Nick Petan's progress has to please the Jets. He was a late cut in training camp, and he's showing why he's going to make things tough for the Jets next season. 
  • Dear Gatorade: I hate your commercials. Thanks. 
  • Canada wins the opening face-off. Good start, yet Canada ices the puck. 
  • Wow, Saros just robbed Duclair on that shot.
  • Max Domi is gonna be a great player for the Coyotes. He's got that Dustin Brown grit, but better hands and a better scoring touch. He's gonna be a star, kids. 
  • Roope Hintz with some good jump, but Fucale makes the save.
  • Canada needs to stay focused here. Bad penalties are the best way to kill any building momentum. You just can't take them. 
  • Kasperi Kapanen needs to show that he has some heart. Horrible tournament thus far. Pittsburgh can't be happy. 
  • How did St. Louis draft Robbie Fabbri? That team is loaded! 
  • Atte Mäkinen will serve two-or-less as he got the stick up high on Gauthier.
  • Sam Reinhart ended that man-advantage quickly! Reinhart deposits the rebound in the yawning cage off the Theodore shot, and Canada leads! 1-0 CANADA.
  • WOW! Fucale comes up big on that Finnish chance!
  • Oh man! Fucale is looking to secure a Player-of-the-Game vote on that save off Puljujärvi! WOW! 
  • Samuel Morin looks a lot like Tyler Myers at this point in his career: huge potential, but he plays like he's 5'3", not 6'7". He needs a mean streak.
  • Good block on that Lazar shot. That's the sacrifice that Finland will have to make in this game to help Saros. Well done by Aleksi Mäkelä.
  • Lawson Crouse appears to be headed for a high-pick in 2016. 
  • Commercial break! I need a beverage. I'll be back in 30 seconds. 
  • Roope Hintz should go mid-first round. He's a dynamite skater. 
  • Fucale looks sharp. No rebounds. Nothing soft. This is promising. 
  • Can you imagine if Finland loses tonight, and then loses to Germany? They host the World Junior Championship next year, and they might be playing for their lives if they hit the relegation round! 
  • That was a bad penalty by Reinhart. Forget two minutes for tripping. That's two minutes for stupidity. 
  • Finland has yet to hit the net on this powerplay. They won't have a chance if this continues. Credit to Canada for filling the lanes.
  • Mikko Rantanen is the only Finn going to the high-traffic areas. There's a reason this kid has both goals for Finland in this tournament.
  • Official HBIC mascot Meg the cat has seen enough. She's off to bed.
  • That got a little physical. Honka paid the price against Ritchie.
  • That'll do it for the first period. Canada with an early edge in goals!


  • Do I stick around to hear James Duthie and Bob McKenzie talk about the game? Nah, it's channel surfing time. Jets and Wild are on!
  • Hey, the Jets are leading 1-0! Michael Frolik! 
  • Minnesota takes a timeout with 2:53 in the first period. Think they want these two points against a division rival? 
  • Bill Nye and Chris O'Dowd in a Nike commercial. It happened. 
  • How about Canada beating Jokerit in the Spengler Cup? Team Canada is rolling!


  • Looks like the Reinhart-Domi-Duclair line will start.
  • Max Domi is fearless. Two huge shot blocks!
  • Wow. Paul and Petan have incredible hands.
  • Crouse was absolutely robbed by Saros! WOW!
  • Max Domi just rung one off the goal post! Good to see him back! 
  • Saros just robbed Curtis Lazar! WOW again!
  • The pace of this game is incredible. We've played one-and-a-half periods and squeezed in an intermission in just over an hour!
  • Joonas Lyytinen is off for high-sticking, and Canada's back to the powerplay.
  • Fabbri just missed that gorgeous back-door feed from McDavid, and that's why McDavid will be the first-overall pick. Incredible hands to get that pass through! 
  • Again, Fucale is dialed in. Shot, no rebound, whistle, and we'll go to commercial.
  • WOW! Domi to Duclair to Reinhart streaking through the middle, and he makes no mistake. The chip shot is up over Saros' right shoulder, and Reinhart has his second! 2-0 CANADA.
  • No offence to the Finns reading this, but this Finnish team looks nothing like it did last year. Zero heart being shown in all three zones.
  • Compared to the game against Germany, Canada has been light years better. 
  • Sebastian Aho with a great deflection, but Fucale says no once more. 
  • Apparently, Ray Ferraro is a poor Minecraft player. Gord Miller says he is too.
  • Artturi Lehkonen capitalizes on the Samuel Morin mistake, and his low shot isn't handled by Fucale well. Lehkonen taps in his own rebound, and Finland is on the board! 2-1 CANADA.
  • Imagine that: a Flyers draft pick mishandles a puck. Seems almost too fitting.
  • At the end of two periods, Canada has a 2-1 lead!


  • Winnipeg has a 2-1 lead on the Wild! Mathieu Perreault with the second Jets' goal, and Ryan Carter has the goal for the Wild.
  • Does anyone actually believe the Oilers got better by trading Mark Arcobello for Derek Roy? I'm sorry, but Craig MacTavish needs to be fired. Derek Roy didn't record a shot in his last six games. Not a point - a shot! If I'm Arcobello, I'm sending MacTavish a thank-you gift.
  • Secondly, if you're the Oilers, why trade Arcobello when you could have just claimed Roy on waivers? You're the worst team in the NHL - no one else can claim him before you!
  • The Oilers might be the worst team in the standings, but their front office is an absolute mess. I'm sorry, but Craig MacTavish and his team of monkeys are laughable. 
  • Fontaine scores, and the Wild and Jets are tied 2-2.


  • Reinhart-Domi-Duclair start the period once more! 
  • Connor McDavid just got straight-armed by Aleksi Mäkelä. He would have been in alone had he not been so rudely stopped.
  • That's a weak call on Darnell Nurse. Regardless, he'll sit for two or less. 
  • Julius Honka appears to play like he's scared to make a mistake. How about some creativity? Where's the skill? 
  • I don't understand the Finnish strategy. Why are there three guys back when you need a goal? Send someone up to create the odd-man situation!
  • I like coach Benoit Groulx's idea: defend in the offensive zone. That'll work! 
  • Beauty! Anthony Duclair is the recipient of a rebound off Max Domi's sweet hands to the front of the net, and Duclair goes over the pads for his goal! 3-1 CANADA.
  • That two-goal lead is huge!
  • Sebastien Aho with the high-stick on Dylan Heatherington, and Canada will have the powerplay for the next couple of minutes! 
  • After about 20 seconds of Canadian domination and an injury to Honka, Curtis Lazar pokes home a loose puck under Saros' pad on powerplay! 4-1 CANADA.
  • Honka looks like he's really hurt after taking that puck off the outside of the knee.
  • The singing has started in Montreal, folks! 
  • Virtanen has to be careful. Alex Lintuniemi hit Lazar from behind, and Virtanen didn't like it. Looks like it'll be coincidental minors, but Virtanen can't risk a suspension.
  • Jesse Puljujärvi is the Finnish Player of the Game. By a wide margin.
  • Sebastien Aho might be seeing stars after that Nick Ritchie hit. WOWZERS!
  • That'll do it, kids! 4-1 Canada, and the US awaits them on New Year's Eve!
It's hard to believe that Finland hasn't recorded a win yet, and they'll have their hands full with Germany on New Year's Eve. Canada, though, looks impressive and plays a much cleaner game than we saw against Germany in their game. Canada and the US will play for top spot in the pool in two nights. Be ready!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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