BRATISLAVA, May 27. /TASS/. The national ice hockey team of Finland won its third title of the world championships after defeating Canada 3-1 on Sunday night at the 2019 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship in Slovakia.
It is worth noting that Finland began this championship with the win of 3-1 over Canada in the group stage match on May 10 and then finished this tournament with exactly same score facing Canada again on May 26 in the game for the gold.
The score in the final match was opened in the middle of the first period by Canada’s Shea Theodore. However, Finland’s Marko Anttila answered with a goal in the middle period to tie the score and netted another puck in the following period. His teammate Harri Pesonen upped the score to 3-1 some five minutes remaining in the match.
The head-to-head statistics of Finland and Canada at IIHF World Championships now stand at 50 matches with the Finnish team winning 12, the Canadians packing 36 wins, while two matches ended with a draw. Both teams met in the finals of the world championships four times and Canada ended up victorious three times before this meeting (1994, 2007, 2016).
The Finnish ice hockey team is now the three-time World Champion (1995, 2011, 2019) in addition to its eight silver and three bronze medals won previously at the IIHF World Championships.
Earlier on Sunday, the Russian national team won the bronze in a tight match against the Czech Republic snatching the 3-2 win in a penalty shootout. Russia’s so-called ‘Red Machine’ was the only team at this world championship to roam undefeated in all matches through to the semifinals, where it was stopped 0-1 by Finland.
The 2019 IIHF World Championship was hosted by Slovakia between May 10 and 26. The participating teams were divided into Groups A and B. Group A played matches in Slovakia’s Kosice and included hosts Slovakia, Canada, the United States, Finland, Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain.
Group B played matches in Bratislava and enlisted teams from Sweden, Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.
Canada finished in the top of Group A with 18 points and was followed by quarterfinalists Finland (16 points), Germany (15 points) and the United States (14 points).
Slovakia offered two venues for hosting matches of this year’s championship and they were the Slovakian capital of Bratislava and the country’s second largest city of Kosice. Each city hosted 28 matches of the group stage as well as two quarterfinals.
The semifinals, the final and the match for the bronze were be played in Bratislava at the over 10,000-seat capacity Ondrej Nepela Arena. Kosice, which has a population of 240,000, offered the over 8,300-seat capacity Steel Arena.
The 2020 IIHF World Championship will be hosted by Switzerland between on May 8 and 24 with matches scheduled to be played in Zurich and Lausanne.