Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Canada defeats Finland

Press Release

CALGARY – Taylor Hall scored his second goal in as many games and Martin Jones stopped all 17 shots he faced to lead Canada to a 3-0 win over Finland in a world junior exhibition game Tuesday.

Defenceman Alex Pietrangelo and Brandon McMillan also scored for Canada, which beat Sweden 6-2 on Sunday in Regina. Jordan Eberle added a pair of assists.

Team Canada will return to Regina for its third and final pre-competition game against the Czech Republic Wednesday night before opening the world junior tournament on Dec. 26 against Latvia in Saskatoon.

Canada's defence played well in front of Jones, not allowing Finland to mount much of an offensive attack throughout the game despite being short-handed nine times.

Finnish netminder Joni Ortio, a sixth round (171st overall) pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, stopped 21 of 24 shots he faced.

Jones, who's used to playing at the Pengrowth Saddledome as a member of the Calgary Hitmen, was tested early in the first period though after Canadian forward Nazem Kadri took a charging penalty 12 seconds into the game. On the ensuing power play, Jones stood his ground at the top of his crease to stop a slap shot by Finnish forward Toni Rajala, who also plays in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Pietrangelo opened the scoring for Canada at 13:21 of the first period when he blasted a slap shot from the point into the top corner, blocker side behind Ortio, who was screened by Brandon McMillan on the play.

Early in the second period, Hall took a feed from Brandon Kozun, the second member of the Hitmen who cracked Team Canada's roster, and roofed a shot over Ortio's outstretched glove. Hall returned to action after sitting out the final two periods of the game against Sweden with a sore knee.

Finland appeared to score early in the third period when forward Teemu Hartikainen drove hard to the net and knocked the puck in with his skate. After a quick discussion between the on-ice officials, the puck was ruled to have been kicked in and the goal was disallowed.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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