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Finn-ished: Team Finland takes bronze in IIHF Women’s World Championships

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Finland came out with one goal in mind against Team Germany: to medal.

Team Finland celebrates a goal.
Michelle Jay

After one period of play in the bronze medal game between Team Finland and Team Germany, the scoreboard read 3-0 in favor of the Finns.

For context, in USA’s 11-0 blowout of the Germans last night, USA was leading 2-0 after the first period.

The Finns didn’t quite match the US in goals scored, but they were dominant against Germany from start to finish.

Noora Räty had to make just 10 saves in the win. If the 16 saves against Sweden were a “warm-up” game, as she called it in one postgame scrum, then the bronze medal game must have been like a walk in the park.

Finland got the scoring started with a goal from Petra Nieminen just 52 seconds into the contest. The first goal set the tone for the rest of the game: Finland dominated most of the play, outshooting the Germans 11 to 2 in the first period.

The Finns second goal came courtesy of Ronja Savolainen on an unassisted tally with just under 14 seconds left. But the real heartbreaker for Germany was at the tail end of the first, when the Germans got a power play opportunity to, at the very least, spend some time in their offensive zone.

But Finland had other ideas, and Venla Hovi scored just 31 seconds after Finland’s last goal for a shorthanded marker, giving Finland a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.

It didn’t get much better for Germany for the rest of the game. Though they switched out Jennifer Harss to start the second period, replacement Ivonne Schroder didn’t fare much better. Jenni Hiirikoski scored a power play goal less than two minutes into the second and then Noora Tulus scored a goal of her own just before the halfway marker. Tulus got an assist on the next goal Finland scored to make it 6-0, a gorgeous pass through the slot to Saana Valkama. They scored twice more before the end of the second, one goal from Nieminen for her second of the game and another from Mira Jalosuo with just 18 seconds left.

Germany got their first kind of sustained pressure in the offensive zone early in the third, when Finland’s Rosa Lindstedt went to the box for tripping. But the Finns were able to kill it off and keep Germany off the board.

Germany managed to keep Germany off the board in the third period, but it was too little, too late. Though they didn’t win, Germany managed to finish fourth, a tough task considering their recent promotion to the top group.