Canada cruises past Finland to punch ticket to semis at Worlds
Canada took down Finland 4-1 during Thursday's quarterfinal at the 2023 IIHF World Championship to advance to the semifinals for the eighth straight tournament.
The clash was a rematch of the previous three gold-medal showdowns, with Finland winning in 2019 and 2022 and Canada ascending to the top of the podium in 2021 (the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Netminder Sam Montembeault was named Canada's player of the game after making 27 saves against the tournament co-hosts and reigning gold medalists.
Jack Quinn's first goal of the tournament started the action for the Canadians. His quick shot snuck under Finnish goalie Emil Larmi before the midway mark of the opening period.
Sammy Blais padded the lead in the middle frame with a nifty snipe off of a three-on-one, while Michael Carcone was responsible for the dagger in the third period.
Teemu Hartikainen got Finland on the board in the game's final minutes with the goalie pulled - much to the excitement of the crowd in Tampere - but it was ultimately too late. Canadian captain Tyler Toffoli restored his team's three-goal lead with an empty-netter.
The Canadians finished the preliminary round in second place in Group B, while Finland took the third spot in Group A.
Standing in the way of Canada's fourth straight gold-medal game appearance is Latvia, which pulled off a major upset in a 3-1 victory over Sweden. The underdogs were outshot 41-15 by a talented Swedish squad, but Latvian goalie Arturs Silovs was outstanding throughout his 40-save performance.
The teams will square off on Saturday, with Latvia competing for a medal at an IIHF event for the first time.
Team USA - which is undefeated at the Worlds so far - will face Germany in the other semifinal after blanking Czechia 3-0.
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