DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. – Miro Mäkinen, Kasperi Kapanen and Waltteri Hopponen scored in the final 11 minutes as Finland earned its first victory of the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Monday night, beating West 6-4.
The Finns trailed 4-3 after Vukie Mpofu (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SMAAAHL) scored on a West power play at 5:57 of the third period, but Mäkinen tied the game at 9:04 and Kapanen gave them the lead for good on the man advantage at 12:35.
Hopponen rounded out the scoring in the final minute.
Sami Niku, Eetu Sopanen and Teemu Lämsä had the other goals for the Finns, who beat a Canadian opponent for the first time since a 5-3 win over Ontario in their opener at the 2010 tournament in Timmins, Ont.
Kolten Olynek (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SMAAAHL) scored twice to pace the offence for West, which has dropped nine straight at the under-17 tournament; its last win was a 4-1 triumph over Slovakia in Winnipeg, Man., in 2011.
Adam Brooks (Winnipeg, Man./Regina, WHL) also scored for the Canadian side, which got two assists each from Ryan Pilon (Duck Lake, Sask./Lethbridge, WHL) and Jordan Thomson (Wawanesa, Man./Kamloops, WHL).
Olynek and Mpofu scored early in the third period to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead before the Finns mounted a comeback of their own.
Kaapo Kähkönen made 33 saves to earn the victory in the Finnish goal, while Rylan Parenteau (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SMAAAHL) turned aside 25 shots in a losing cause.
The Finns go for back-to-back victories Monday night when they face Pacific in Victoriaville (7:30 p.m. ET), while West is off Monday before closing out the preliminary round Tuesday night at the Colisée against Pacific (7:30 p.m. ET). (Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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