Finland recorded their first victory over Great Britain tonight with a 5-0 win at the 2019 IIHF World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia.
GB held the world’s fifth seeds to a goalless first period but Finland scored three times in the second session, before adding a late empty-netter and powerplay goal to secure the three points.
GB and Finland level after first period
Brett Perlini had GB’s first chance but Finland came back strong and Ben Bowns once again made some top-class saves, including one from Kaapo Kakko in the slot.
Finland were creating the better chances but GB came close when Ollie Betteridge’s shot was saved and the puck was taken away from Jonathan Phillips as he was about to poke in the rebound.
Finland open up three-goal lead
Thirty-four seconds into the second period Finland went ahead through Toni Rajala’s rebound (20:34) and Atte Ohtamaa made it two at 25:08 with a lovely shot into the top right-hand corner.
GB’s best chance of the period fell to Betteridge but his shot was saved by Jussi Olkinuora and after Bowns denied Kakko, Joel Kiviranta scored Finland’s third with a nice backhand finish (34:59).
Finland see out the game
Bowns continued to frustrate Finland with another outstanding performance, while Ben O’Connor was denied with a shot from right point.
Finland wrapped the game up – and secured their fourth win in five matches – with an empty-net goal from Kristian Kuusela (57:27), which was added to Mikko Lehtonen’s powerplay strike at the backdoor (59:49).
Head coach, Pete Russell, said: “We faced another great team and gave it a good go.
“Finland were quick and efficient and every bit as good as we expected them to be.
“But our boys keep battling, had a few chances and gave it everything they had.”
GB return to action tomorrow when they face hosts Slovakia at 20:15 (19:15 UK).
Russell added: “It’s going to be a brilliant atmosphere and the boys are looking forward to it.
“It is important we get some rest now but the boys are ready and they have two massive games left in the tournament.”