Finland wins Canada in first Sam Jacks final, USA took another loss against Sweden

Canada and Finland faced off in the first Sam Jacks finale today. Finland wins Canada 2-8. The game was quite a bit more even than the exhibition games played earlier this week. While Canada played strong, Finland was certainly better in offence.
Antti Simola, a Finnish ringette pioneer who passed away recently was given respects before the match in a silent moment.

The game took a quick, but even start and both teams controlled the ring. Finland showed their strengths in offence when Canada seemed to struggle in scoring. Marianna Kuiko scored her first official WRC goal and was very close to another one, to no avail. Canada played hard again, and they ended up taking a couple too many penalties in the first period. Finland took advantage of power play twice during the first period as two Canadians were warming the penalty box bench. Susanna Tapani beautifully scored two times from the right corner. Finland was ahead by four goals by the time the first period ended.

Canada seemed to find new strength to their game to the second period, although Anne Pohjola did show her shooting skills off at the free pass in the offence zone, scoring Finland’s fifth goal. The Canadians were controlling the ring more in the second period and they were able to score during power play, when two Finns were suffering their penalties. Britney Snowdon, with some great individual skills put the ring to the net behind Maria Perkkola’s back.

Finland’s game started strong in the third period again but weren’t the ones to score next. Canada showed some great will power as they scored after a long offence. The Snowdon sisters and Gillian Dreger played together nicely, until Jenny Snowdon scored. Only a moment later Roosa Salonen scored in the other end though, putting Finland to 2-6 lead. Tapani managed to finish a hat trick by the end of the third period.

Canada put up a tough fight for the last period and was able to hold their goal clean almost throughout the whole period. The Canadians were fast and physical but couldn’t get the ring to go past Perkkola. Finland stroke one last time in the last moments of the game as Pohjola broke through the Canadian defence and faced Jasmine Leblanc head to head and coolly scored the ring behind Leblanc’s back.

I think we played pretty well out there. After the first quarter we made some adjustments and came out a lot stronger. I think we carried a lot of the flow and momentum for the rest of the game, so we just got to keep our heads high and keep doing that in the second finale. We believe in ourselves, and we’re excited for Sunday, Melissa Misutka from Team Canada said after the game.

– It was amazing to play in front of such a loud audience so I’m feeling great right now. Canada had changed their offence a bit, so we need to watch some videos and take their strongest moves out, Finland’s first time WRC-player Hanna Ovaska said.


USA and Sweden’s second game exciting from start to end

Photo: Timo Kupiainen

USA had a chance to get even points with Sweden and go straight to the President’s Pool final. This time USA’s try wasn’t enough, although the game was really close.

The opening goal of the game wasn’t a long wait. Swedish player Sarah Esmail got to score from Anna Norrbom’s pass, but soon after USA scored tool. Hilary Davidson got herself in the middle of Sweden’s defence and shot the ring behind Kaisa Juntunen. Four minutes before the end of the first quarter USA’s Campbell Shnurr scored, putting her team to the lead. First period ended with the USA leading 2-1.

Sweden tied the game right at the start of the second period as Esmail shot her second goal of the game. Sweden’s third goal was made by Norrbom with her awesome shot as Kajsa Frankenberg passed to Norrbom from behind the blue line, she skated to the middle of Sweden’s defense and scored. Sweden’s lead wasn’t long, and USA scored again by Schnurr.

There weren’t a lot of goals in the third period and the game continued to be quite even. However, Sweden got better in the offence zone as the game progressed and was able to score two more times during the third period.

The fourth period got exciting as both teams we’re playing strongly, and it was clear that both wanted the win. Neither of the teams were able to make goals and both goals remained empty until the very last seconds of the game. As only 20 seconds remained, USA’s Hilary Davidson was able to score, but the goal came too late, and they couldn’t tie the game anymore.

I think we gave it all, we tried our hardest. We really gave the other team a big shake and they really came out strong and they played awesome game, USA’s Jaclyn Lovelett said after the game.

I think it was fun playing. It was really close. It’s always fun even when it’s nervous, said Sweden’s Amanda Olofsson.

The MVP’s of the game were USA’s Cadence Pirtle and Sweden’s goalkeeper Kaisa Juntunen.

All tickets to the WRC are sold by Ticketmaster. All matches are free to watch from Ringette LIVE. Sam Jacks second finale game is broadcasted on Yle TV2 or Yle Areena. The second Junior Pool finale will be streaming on Yle Areena. All Ringette LIVE broadcasts are commentated in English and Yle broadbasts in Finnish.

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