Manninen became a Finnish game hero in the Ice Hockey World Cup final

This is the Finns’ fourth Ice Hockey World Cup title, and the team also became Olympic champions earlier this year. The Finns are also the first nation since Sweden in 2013 to win World Cup gold on home soil.

– It was absolutely amazing. That you can win World Cup gold on home soil is something you can only dream of. I would like to be a spectator and a fan today too,” Granlund told Viaplay.

Everything had to be decided in the most dramatic way possible. It was first decided in the three-on-three match for 20 minutes. Canada suffered an ejection and in four-on-three Manninen scored the winning goal after 6.42 minutes of overtime.

Last year, Canada decided the final against Finland after extra time.

Finnish captain Valtteri Filppula secured the treble by winning the Stanley Cup, World Cup and Olympic gold as the first Finn.

Hit back

After a scoreless and even first period, Dylan Cozens sent defending champions Canada ahead four minutes into the middle frame. The Canadiens are often good at taking advantage of games in overtime.

It was precisely the extra time match that was going to be directly decisive in the final. The Finns were able to play 5-on-3 after two quick and questionable Canadian expulsions in the third period. The pair of Swedish judges were unlucky with the decisions. Among other things, Cole Sillinger was sent off for a high club, but TV footage showed it was the Finn who had his own club up front.

They took advantage of the situation to tie first at 1-1 through Nashville star Mikael Granlund. The same man went 2-1 in the five-on-four game shortly after.

Joel Armia then tied it 3-1 with just six minutes remaining. Canada then released the goalkeeper and Zach Whitecloud made it 2-3 with two minutes left. The judges had to study on video if the goal was out of position before approving the goal.

Forced extension

Canada continued without a goalkeeper and put the pressure on. Max Comtois made it 3-3 with 1.24 minutes left in the match so that the final had to be played in “sudden death”. Also in the quarter-finals against Sweden, the Canadians managed to earn a decision in extra time after late goals.

Canada could win its 28th World Cup gold medal, but remains on 27 titles with Russia/USSR. The Finns have already won the World Cup three times in 1995, 2011 and 2019.

Norway finished in 13th place at the World Cup for the second consecutive year, but had three semi-finalists Finland, the Czech Republic and the United States in their group.

Alec Dittman

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