Medals will be awarded today, and two powerhouses, Finland and Russia, will battle it out for bronze in the first game of the day.
It's a difficult turnaround, from losing in the semi-finals to shattering your golden dreams less than 24 hours ago, to booting up. But the stakes are high – the winner will take home hardware, while the loser will leave World Juniors Bubble Hockey empty-handed.
"It will be difficult for sure, but of course they will. It will be our last game, so I hope we can play a team," said Finland head coach Antti Pennanen after the semi-final defeat by the USA.
MORE: How Canada and the US compete for the gold medal game
"This is hockey. Obviously it's a defeat, and the boys are emotionally and mentally drained after the game," remarked Russia's bank boss Igor Larionov after his team's one-sided loss to Canada. "Right now we have 24 hours to prepare for the game and play our best hockey and try to win the bronze medal."
Finland comes into play after a heartbreaking loss to the US. The Finns, who never say they are going to die, fought back towards the end of day three before Arthur Kaliyev scored the game winner by 76 seconds. Russia just looked away from the jump against Canada and remained goose bumps 5-0.
However, don't expect these two teams not to bring their A-games on Tuesday night. Anton Lundell continues to be a driving force behind Finland's offensive – his pressure led to the commitment goal – while Kasper Simontaival scored two big goals to bring his tournament total to seven and get Lundell to lead the team in goals (four). The Finnish defense was also generally solid and Kari Piiroinen looked good as the # 1 team on the net.
"It's been a really great trip with these guys to be here in the bubble. We still want to win the medal and be proud of this team," said Kasper Puutio after the defeat. "We will definitely do the best we can and try to get the bronze medal."
As for Russia, the team is driven by its top six, with Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov taking the lead with six points (two goals, four assists). Yaroslav Askarov had a less than outstanding appearance in the semifinals and lost a large part of his racket in the first phase, which resulted in at least two goals for the Canadians.
Sporting News has it all under control while Finland and Russia battle for bronze.
(All times east)
Finland scores against Russia, highlights of the bronze medal game of the World Juniors 2021
Second period: Finland 1, Russia 1
7:04 pm – – The period ends and everything is tied. Buckle up for the third period.
19.00. – – Anton Lundell with a pass across the Royal Road, but Eemil Viro, coming down from the top, cannot connect as his stick is hauled in at an odd angle. Viro goes face first into the board and leaves after training is over.
6:59 p.m. – – Finland gets a power game after a few whistles.
6:58 pm – – Finland with a good chance of a duel up front when a shot goes off the goal post.
6:37 p.m. – TOR. Anton Lundell distracts the Topi Niemela point, which was fired by a strong Finnish pre-examiner to get the matter under control. This is Lundell's fifth goal of the tournament and Niemela's sixth helper. Ville Heinola's hard work on the boards also contributed to this goal. Game draw 1-1.
6:31 pm – – After fifteen seconds, Ville Heinola is called for high sticking. Russia goes to the power game. (You wouldn't score)
6:31 pm – – The second period is underway.
First period: Russia 1, Finland 0
6:12 pm – – The first period is coming to an end. Russia came out quickly, but Finland picked up their game over time. Remember: never count the Finns out.
6:09 pm – – Finland draws closer as it hits the goal post.
6:05 p.m. – – Finland breaks in 2-on-1, but Artemi Kniazev (SJS) breaks the Anton Lundell pass. The Finns increased their game after coming out flat.
6:03 pm – – Askarov looks more like a first-round draft pick tonight.
6:02 pm – – Now it's Askarov with the big parade, as Aku Raty's feed is perfect for two crashing Finns, but Juuso Parssinen can't make it.
6 p.m. – – What a rescue for Piiroinen when he robbed Rodion Amirov (Maple Leafs) right on the doorstep. Amirov should have had an easy target there when the puck distracted towards him. What a saving.
5:58 pm – – Just under nine minutes to go and Askarov saves the second Finnish shot he has seen throughout the game.
5:46 p.m. TOR. Russia holds the puck in. Maxim Groshev with a fairly simple backhand player in the net that Piiroinen doesn't correct, and Ilya Sofonov buries the rebound. Russia leads 1-0.
5:45 p.m. – – Podkolzin from the pipe with a distraction option. No shot on goal, but Russia shoots the Finns 3-0.
5:43 pm – – Jegor Chinakhov comes off the bench and breaks in all by himself, but Kari Piiroinen stops. Big heads-up pass through 2021 entitles Kirill Kirsanov to spring it.
5:39 pm – – Continue to play. Arseny Gritsyuk was injured against Canada and is out.
05:34 p.m. – – A quick note: Finland lost 5-0 in the semifinals against Canada in 2020 and 3-2 in the bronze medal match against Sweden.
4:41 pm – Lines.
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