WJHC: Canada Qualifies for Semifinals

Francois GendronSenior Writer IJanuary 2, 2008

The Canadian team had a tough opponent in front of them today, as Finland stayed tied with Canada for most of the game—until Brad Marchand scored the game-winning goal halfway into the third period.

Finland scored the first goal of the game during the first period, with a long shot from the blue line that fooled Canadian goaltender Steve Mason.

Canada managed to tie the game through the efforts of John Tavares, who scored his fourth goal of the tournament on the power play during the second period.

In the third period, Canada took the lead with a goal from Steven Stamkos. Then another fluke from Steve Mason allowed Finland to tie the game at 2-2. A puck coming from behind the goal line hit the Canadian goaltender and ended up in the net.

Some people questioned head coach Craig Hartsburg's decision to use Steve Mason in net instead of Jonathan Bernier. The way Mason performed today will only increase the netminders controversy Hartsburg will face from the press.

However, Brad Marchand's goal came just in time to save the day for Canada. Marchand hit a very precise shot from a bad angle that was just out of reach for Finland's goaltender. Canada added another goal in the empty net.

Final score: Canada 4, Finland 2.

As a result of their victory, Canada has qualified for the semifinal match against the United States—who are still undefeated in this tournament.

(Picture: Canadian Press.)