Sweden wins USA in President’s Pool, Finland strong in exhibition games

Sweden and USA met in the third President’s Pool match of the week. The match was intense and saw no lack of penalties as both teams had quite a few penalties to kill. While President’s Pool is in full swing, Finland and Canada were playing against each other in exhibition games, in both Pools.


The match took a quick start by Sweden’s Sarah Esmail, who scored twice within the first five minutes of the game. Sweden took full advantage of power play at the end of the first period and scored their third goal.


The second period started with both teams suffering their penalties. Soon after the US-players got the change to offence with 5 against 3 players, but Kaisa Juntunen kept her cool and the net empty. While Sweden scored their fourth goal during the second period, team USA managed to score their first goal by the end of the second period.


USA scored again at the beginning of the third period and seemed to get more confident in their game. While the Americans were able to score, the Swedish also showed their talent in scoring. The game was quite even, but the Swedish were able to score more efficiently, and the match ended 7-4 in their favor.


It was a fast game, Nyah Bodnarchuk from Team USA explained after the game, it was a lot faster that what we were expecting. Sweden is a great team and I think we picked it up after the first period. We lost it couple minutes left on the fourth quarter, she said.


The game was really even in terms of physicality and USA can play very well, very physical, very elaborate. It was great to see great goal opportunities in both ends and even play. These games are nice to play, Sweden’s goalkeeper Juntunen told after the match.


Team Sweden’s captain Jessika Runolf Lindqvist was named the Most Valuable Player of her team. She also scored two goals in the game. Team USA’s MVP of the game was Nyah Bodnarchuk who scored once.


Finland dominated in Turku

Photo: Timo Kupiainen


Team Finland took a convincing win of the Sam Jacks Pool competitor Canada in Turku. The match started intensely as both teams skated fast, and the ring switched owners rapidly. Both teams also got their first penalties within two first minutes of the game. Finland’s Anne Pohjola scored the first goal of the game when only four minutes had been played. Not much longer and Susanna Tapani took the score to 2-0. Finland started factoring goals and by the end of the period they were winning 7 to none.


The second period started with both teams controlling the ring and Canada seemed to find some confidence in their game. One third of the period was very even, until Finland started scoring again, finishing four goals within two minutes. However, Canada scored during the same two minutes as Britney Snowdon scored from Marie-Pier Blanchard’s pass. Finland didn’t slow down and scored once more by the end of the period.


The third and fourth periods continued with the same theme, where Team Canada suffered penalties and Team Finland used the power play opportunities to their advantage. Canada in turn couldn’t take advantage of their power play as Finland’s defense played convincingly. Finland scored three times during the third period and four times during the last one and all but one of them were factored during power play.


I think today was a hard one for us. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to from what we practiced for the last six to eight months. We’re still jet lagged and I think the next game will be better, Laurence Larocque said after the game.


– I was very nervous before the game. I must say that our girls are unbelievably good and I wish that the Canadian’s are still jet lagged and can do something after that, the first-time coach in an international game, Marjukka Virta said after the game.


It showed today that we have been waiting for this for three years and when the girls were let loose the game went like that. We have definitely done things right, Virta summed up.


The long-time captain of Team Finland was awarded with a honorable retirement of her number 4 jersey. Virta’s number was the first ever in Finnish ringette history to be retired.


I haven’t been able to find words to describe it, Virta said, this is so unbelievable, I wouldn’t have thought this would ever happen.


Another win for Finland Jr from Canada Jr

Photo: Lennart Petrell

Full Tapiola ice hall witnessed a high-quality match as Canada Jr and Finland Jr faced off for the second time this week. The second exhibition game ended in Finland’s favor yet again, although the game remained thrilling until the last period.


Both teams took a good start to the game but the firs goal didn’t happen until halfway through the first period. Iina Kupiainen scored beautifully taking Finland to the lead. Canada’s Isabella Paisley scored soon after evening the game out.


Team Finland Jr took control during the second period and was able to score three times. This didn’t quite stop the Canadians though and they scored once. The third period began in Finland’s 2-4 lead, but Jenna Hakkarainen very quickly scored her team’s fifth goal – only 11 seconds into the period. This didn’t put Canada down either and they played convincingly at the beginning of the last period as they scored enough times to tie the game to 5-5. Despite their best efforts, Finland did score two more times securing their second win with the score of 5-7.


– The game was very even, which was nice. We got a taste of how hard Canada is going to play this week. They got better from yesterday and we must do the same for the finales, Essi Sarmala from Finland Jr team said after the game.


– It was awesome, a lot of energy! And it was really close, back and forth with the Finns and Canada. It must have been a good game to see, everybody must have been on the edge of their seats, Erika Neubrand from Team Canada Jr said after the game.


All tickets to the WRC are sold by Ticketmaster. All matches are free to watch from Ringette LIVE. Sam Jacks finale games are broadcasted on Yle TV2:lta 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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