Finland have fun in a game without stakes | National Teams – Ice Hockey


This is the last match of the preliminary round in Tampere. The host country, Finland, and its 12,000 supporters, face Denmark. And the match has…no stakes.

Finland is guaranteed to finish third: it has thirteen points, one more than Germany.
Denmark, for their part, are guaranteed to finish fifth: the place in the quarterfinals escaped them in the duel against the Germans, and France, sixth, is far behind.

In short, difficult to put on the intensity, between Danes on vacation and Finns who want to save up for Thursday’s clash against Canada…

George Sørensen starts and is quickly in the bath. A first shot saved, then another… Bombarded, the Danish goalkeeper gave in after three minutes when Nikolas Matinpalo fired his shot from the blue and Markko Anttila deflected (1-0).

A minute later, a Danish turnover launched a counterattack. Manninen tumbles at full speed on the left, reverses towards Rantanen, who finds a technical setback behind Ohtamaa, who followed. The defender doubles the bet (2-0).

In relative comfort, the Finns lower their foot, and Rantanen is punished for holding a stick. The Danes only get one shot, and the penalty ends.

Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux

Anders Krogsgaard follows on the penalty bench. Finland pushes, with Manninen, then Rantanen who does not fit. Finally, the Heinz Ehlers players return in full. This does not change anything on the possession of puck, resolutely favorable to the locals.

A breakthrough from Anttila sends Jensen Aabo back to the penalty bench, the butt in the skates of the Nordic captain being too many. There are 47 seconds left when Mathias Bau concedes a collision, for a Finnish 5 against 3. Hartikainen, planted in the slot, fails on the goalkeeper at close range.

After the end of superiority, Finland continues its offensive work. Ville Pokka finds himself towards the cage, and deflects a throw from Mikael Seppälä, just before the break (3-0).

finnish pass blocking
Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux

There is no match at the start of the second period. Denmark has clearly lowered its flag and Finland is not forcing it. After three minutes, Pesonen bypasses the cage and takes advantage of the distraction Armia planted in front of the goalkeeper to find Björninen through the enclave, launched (4-0).

The match lives without great intensity thereafter, without great opportunity. A quick action where Suomela looks for Kapanen behind his back is the best chance, open cage… but the defense intervenes in time.

There are about five minutes left when Suomela commits a high stick. The Danish power play does nothing, on the contrary: Juho Lammikko overflows on the left, feigns the shot and throws low ice, between the legs of Sørensen (5-0).

Only the Finnish public is having fun in this game. In full ola, fans see a long diagonal pass find Kasperi Kapanen in the back of the defence. The NHL striker fixes the goalkeeper and pushes Denmark a little further (6-0).

Goal by Kapanen – Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux

The ordeal continues, with two minutes against Markus Lauridsen on his defensive blue to trip, penalty straddling two-thirds.

The Finnish power play resumed in the third period with an opportunity from Armia from a tight angle. The penalty is killed, and Pesonen continues the domination by infiltrating the back of the defense. In a duel with the goalkeeper, he is beaten.

On the other hand, Sørensen is completely masked on a shot by Matinpalo from the blue (7-0).

On the engagement, Nikolaj Ehlers saves Danish honor with a nice crossfire (7-1).

Only one goal from Rantanen is missing for the party to be complete. The Colorado forward slaloms and… the goalkeeper pushes back. Sørensen is also doing well on a shot from the top of the circles signed Anttila. The puck did not leave the Danish zone until an obstruction by Seppälä six minutes from the end: and again, the power play was unsuccessful.

The last minutes are not of much use, the two teams waiting for the final whistle.

In this game without stakes, Finland responded to its large audience with an offensive explosion, without forcing too much against a demobilized team. This game was pointless, but the fans had a great time.

Named players of the match: Hannes Björninen (Finland) and Nicklas Jensen (Denmark)

Named players of the tournament for Denmark: Nikolaj Ehlers, Jesper Jensen Aabo and Patrick Russell.

Post-match comments :

Heinz Ehlers (last game as Denmark manager): “We were beaten by the best team we had faced during my time as national coach and they really played as a team. We knew it would be tough and the guys tried, but it was really against a superpower. I think it’s a satisfying World Cup. We beat the nations we had to beat and there is a bit of distance with Germany. Mikkel Bødker is an incredibly dedicated player to whom we say goodbye. I had the opportunity to coach him at several tournaments, he presents himself as soon as he has the opportunity and I take my hat off to him. I understand that he stops. It was one of the longest matches in which I participated, but I think the regrets will come when the next world championship approaches. »

masterful arrest
Sørensen save – Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux

Finland – Denmark 7-1 (3-0, 3-0, 1-1)
Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 8:20 p.m. Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. 11,491 spectators.
World Championships, group A.
Refereeing by Christoffer Holm (SUE) and Liam Sewell (GBR) assisted by Nick Briganti (USA) and Nicolas Constantineau (FRA)
Penalties: Finland 6′ (2′, 2′, 2′), Denmark 8′ (6′, 2′, 0′)
Shots: Finland 47 (20, 15, 12), Denmark 14 (7, 3, 4)

Score Summary
1-0 at 02’39: Anttila assisted by Matinpalo and Björninen
2-0 at 03’31: Ohtamaa assisted by Rantanen and Manninen
3-0 at 18’36: Pokka assisted by Seppälä and Kakko
4-0 at 22’54: Björninen assisted by Pesonen and Seppälä
5-0 at 35’07: Lammiko assisted by Seppälä (num. loss)
6-0 at 38’11: Kapanen assisted by Kakko and Suomela
7-0 at 42’41: Matinpalo assisted by Björninen and Oksanen
7-1 at 42’53: Ehlers assisted by Krogsgaard and Gammelgaard

Mikko Rantanen and Morten Poulsen – Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux


Teemu Hartikainen (+1) – Sakari Manninen (+1) – Mikko Rantanen (A, 2′, +1)
Kasperi Kapanen (+2) – Antti Suomela (2′, +2) – Kaapo Kakko (+2)
Harri Pesonen (+1) – Juho Lammiko (+1) – Joel Armia (+1)
Ahto Oksanen (+2) – Hannes Björninen (+2) – Marko Anttila (C, +1)

Mikko Lehtonen (+1) – Atte Ohtamaa (+1)
Olli Määttä (A, +1) – Mikka Koivisto
Ville Pokka (+3) – Mikael Seppälä (2′)
Niklas Friman (+2) – Nikolas Matinpalo (+2)

Guardian :
Emil Larmi

Substitute: Jussi Olkinuora (G). Reservists: Christian Heljanko (L), Waltteri Merelä, Jere Sallinen (A)


Nicklas Jensen (-1) – Patrick Russell (A, -2) – Nikolaj Ehlers (-1)
Frederik Storm (-1) – Oscar Mølgaard (-1) – Mikkel Bødker (A, -3)
Mathias Asperup (-1) – Morten Poulsen (-3) – Mathias Bau (-3)
Niklas Andersen (-1) – Mikkel Aaagard (-1) – Nick Olesen (-1)

Markus Lauridsen (2′, -4) – Matias Lassen (-4)
Jesper Jensen Aabo (C, 2′, -1) – Anders Koch (-1)
Jacob Gammelgaard (-1) – Anders Krogsgaard (2′, -1)
Morten Jensen [2 présences]

Guardian :
George Sorensen

Substitutes: Mathias Seldrup (G), Felix Scheel (A). Reservists: Frederik Dichow (L), Oliver Lauridsen (R), Christian Wejse (A)

Finnish goal – Photo Emmanuel Giraudeaux


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