Marko Anttila, Finland Beat Canada to Win 2019 Hockey World Championship Gold

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

Finland's Marko Anttila, center, celebrates with Oliwer Kaski (7), Kaapo Kakko (24), Niko Ojamaki (20), and Sakari Manninen (65) after Anttila scored a goal against Canada during the Ice Hockey World Championships gold medal match at the Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sunday, May 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Finland capped a remarkable run through the 2019 IIHF Hockey World Championship knockout rounds with a 3-1 victory over Canada in Sunday's gold-medal game at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Marko Anttila scored the game-winning goal early in the third period after the teams were deadlocked through 40 minutes.

As expected, it was a hard-fought game between two of international hockey's superpowers.

Canada's effort to capture another title was nearly derailed by Switzerland in the quarterfinals. A tying goal by New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson with 0.4 seconds left in regulation kept its hope alive. The Canadians won that game in overtime before crushing the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

Vegas Golden Knights blueliner Shea Theodore opened the scoring in the final with a terrific effort to evade three Finnish defenders before wiring home a wrister midway through the first period.

Finland couldn't have faced a much tougher road to a championship. It defeated Nordic rival and two-time defending tournament champion Sweden in overtime during the quarterfinals and then edged previously undefeated Russia 1-0 in the semifinals before meeting Canada for the gold medal.

Anttila lit the lamp less than three minutes into the second period to level the score for the Finns.

The Finnish captain, who also tallied a goal in the quarters and the semis, found the net again 2:35 into the third period—the exact amount of time he scored into the second—to give Finland its first lead of the contest.

Harri Pesonen added an insurance marker with just over four minutes left to seal the win.

Goalie Kevin Lankinen made 43 saves to pick up the win for the Finns, who registered just 22 shots of their own.

Finland's tremendous journey through the knockout gauntlet lands the country its third world championship and first since 2011. Only the Swedes (three titles), Canadians (two) and Russians (two) had taken home the gold medals over the previous seven years.

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