05/25 16:49 CDT Canada, Finland advance to world hockey title game
Canada, Finland advance to world hockey title game
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) --- Mark Stone scored his tournament-leading eighth
goal, Matt Murray made 39 saves and Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 on
Saturday night to advance to face Finland in the world hockey championship
"I think we can beat anybody in this tournament," Stone said. "It's just a
matter of whether we play well or not. We're going to have to bring our best
game to beat (Finland), but I'm comfortable with the team that we have."
In the first semifinal, Marko Anttila scored midway through the third period in
Finland's 1-0 victory over Russia.
Darnell Nurse, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Turris and Thomas Chabot also scored for
"I think as a team we're just thankful for the opportunity," Murray said. "One,
to be here and play for our country and now to get this opportunity to play for
gold. It's very exciting and that's what we're here for."
Tomas Zohorna scored for the Czechs.
"The score was 5-1 but it felt closer than that," Dubois said. "The Czechs
played a really good game. They did a lot of good things. I thought we defended
well as a unit of five. We didn't give them a lot. Murray was really good when
we made mistakes and that's what made the difference."
Canada has won eight straight games since opening with a 3-1 loss to Finland.
The teams last met in the final in 2016 in Moscow, with Canada winning 2-1. The
title game is Sunday.
In the first semifinal, Anttila grabbed the loose puck after Henri Jokiharju's
point shot bounced off defenseman Nikita Zaitsev's leg and fired it through
goalie Andrei Vasilevski's gaping five-hole.
"He took a stick in the face and came back and scored the game-winning goal,"
Finnish goalie Kevin Lankinen said. "That shows a lot of character. He's a good
leader and a really nice guy to be around."
Lankinen made 32 saves for his second shutout of the tournament.
"We've believed in ourselves all tournament," Lankinen said. "I don't know if
anybody else has, but the way we're playing, we can beat any team in this
tournament. I like to think we've got one more win left in us."