World Hockey Championships 2014 Final: Russia vs. Finland Results

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World Hockey Championships 2014 Final: Russia vs. Finland Results
Darko Bandic/Associated Press

After a wild road to the 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championship, it was Team Russia that defeated Team Finland by a score of 5-2 to win the title at Minsk Arena on Sunday.  

The first goal of the game was scored by Sergei Shirokov on the power play and put Russia up 1-0 early. With just three seconds left in the period, Iiro Pakarinen evened the score with an even-strength goal for Finland.

In the second period, Team Finland took the lead on a power play goal from Olli Palola, but Team Russia wasted little time bouncing back on the even-strength goal from Alexander Ovechkin. The Russians also added a third goal when Evgeni Malkin lit the lamp late in the period.

Danis Zaripov added another power play goal for Team Russia early in the third period and Viktor Tikhonov added the third power play goal of the game for the eventual winners.

 

Playoff Bracket

*Bracket via IIHFWorlds2014.com.

 

Source: IIHF.com

Team Russia came into Sunday’s final matchup as the best team in the tournament. Even with an injury to Alexander Ovechkin that forced him to miss a game, the Russians went unbeaten in the group stage and finished with an astounding goal differential of +26.

After dominating the group stage—including a 4-2 victory over Finland—Russia handled France, 3-0, in the quarterfinals. Russian netminder Sergei Bobrovsky looked incredible during the tournament, racking up a save percentage of .955, a goals-against average of 1.00 and two shutouts coming into the final.

The offense for Russia was the key in the 3-1 semifinal victory over Sweden, and it was the success of Sergei Plotnikov, Viktor Tikhonov and Ovechkin throughout the tournament that helped the team play as well as it did.

The three players combined for 37 points in the first nine games of the tournament.

Group Stage Results
Group A
Team Wins OT Wins OT Losses Losses Goal Differential Points
Canada 5 1 1 0 +15 18
Sweden 5 1 1 0 +11 18
Czech Republic 2 2 2 1 +2 12
France 2 2 1 2 +5 11
Slovakia 3 0 1 3 -1 10
Norway 2 0 1 4 -3 7
Denmark 1 1 0 5 -10 5
Italy 1 0 0 6 -19 3
Group B
Team Wins OT Wins OT Losses Losses Goal Differential Points
Russia 7 0 0 0 +24 21
United States 4 1 0 2 +4 14
Belarus 4 0 0 3 +1 12
Finland 3 1 0 3 +3 11
Switzerland 3 0 1 3 -2 10
Latvia 3 0 0 4 -4 9
Germany 1 1 0 5 -10 5
Kazakhstan 0 0 2 5 -16 2

Source: IIHF.com

While Team Finland’s run to the final was unorthodox, the team was disappointed by their effort and should be looking for redemption after taking two losses to Russia in the tournament.

Before the final matchup, Nashville Predators star and Finnish goaltender Pekka Rinne told NHL.com, “I'm really excited with the opportunity and what we've accomplished so far. Let's see what happens tomorrow.”

Finland beat Switzerland out for the final playoff position after struggling to find any consistency during the group stage. When the elimination games began, though, Team Finland stunned Canada in the quarterfinals, 3-2, and beat a red-hot Czech Republic team in the semifinals, 3-0.

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Led by Rinne in net and the combination of Jori Lehtera and Petri Kontiola setting the pace in the offensive zone, the Finnish team proved it deserved to make it to the final after running through some of the toughest competition in the tournament.

After an incredible IIHF World Championship that featured an exciting group stage and an even more enthralling playoff bracket, hockey fans will remember this as a great distraction during the NHL playoffs.

While many of the top stars in the sport were not involved in this tournament, it was a great showcase of the talent starting to make their mark on the NHL or impacting the sport in other countries.

 

*Stats via IIHF.com.

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