Finland Hammers Denmark

The opening exhibition games are kicking off with the first of two played at the Langley Events Centre in front of a sparse crowd of about 2,000 dyhard fans.

The game saw Team Danmark as the home team wearing their Red jersey with a Lion on the top with the wording of Danmark on the front, faced-off against visiting Team Finland or Leijonat (Lejonen as it’s called in Finland) wearing their traditional White with Blue shoulders and their famous Suomi crest on the front.

Their first ever Gold medal in International hockey was in the 1995 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships.

At the 2017 WJC tournament they were eliminated without clearing the group stage, so it’s fair to state that Team Finland has their sights set on capturing Gold at the 2018 Championship.

They were the first team to miss the quarter-finals after entering the tournament as the defending champions but somehow they survived the relegation round with sights set to reclaim their status as a top hockey nation.

Following the elimination last year it left a “sour taste” in the Country and to the shock of many the Finnish Ice Hockey Association fired the entire coaching staff.

Replacing the staff for the final games was Jussi Ahokas and interesting enough he is returning behind the bench once again as their Head Coach.

Canada and the USA will face Finland in the group stage for the event and it’s no shock that Finland will be face stronger competition in the early stages of the tournament than last year.

Denmark has played top division hockey in 2008, 2012 and 2015, reaching the quarterfinals only three times having their best finish in 2017 winding up in 5th place.

In 2015 they won their first-ever game in the top division by a 4-3 margin over Switzerland allowing them to finish 4th in Group B allowing them to advance to the quarterfinals giving them their highest finish.

They finished in 8th place after a quarterfinal loss to Canada competing in Group A, which was the top division in the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships that were played in Helsinki, finishing 8th again after a loss to Russia.

The World Junior Championship played in Vancouver will see the “Stars of Tomorrow’ hit the ice at Rogers Arena with two games each day.

This game was all Finland from the start as they not only pressed, but hammered shot after shot at Team Denmark’s “tender” who kept them in the game from the opening face-off.

If you’re attending any of the games, remember that you will see more of a finesse style of game, vs the rough, aggressive play we are accompanied to watching.

On a note of interest to know if you are attending the World Junior Championship is as follows:

If an attacking player skates into, through the goaltenders crease with his skate, stick or any part of their body before the puck there will be a whistle immediately with the ensuing face-off outside the blue line in the attacking half of the ice

.Final shot in the contest saw Finland out-shoot Denmark by a commanding 40-9 margin through 60 minutes of play.

To make it interesting it was decided that following the game, regardless of the score there would be a three on three five minute period followed by a five player shootout.

The O/T saw Finland press having a two on one and somehow managing to to off-side only to score 12 seconds later giving them a 8-0 lead at 3:47 of the period.

This was followed by a five player shootout more so to give the fans their entertainment value that saw Finland shoot first.

The game saw Finland’s “tender” Lehtinen play three period scoreless periods as well as the O/T plus the shootout.

Final score saw Team Finland outscore Team Denmark by a 8-0 score seeing them advance on a winning note.