Day: February 14, 2024

Finland emerges victorious in the Beijer Hockey Games

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

In the “final match” of the Beijer Hockey Games on Sunday, Tre Kronor and Finland clashed to determine the ultimate winner. Both teams had emerged victorious in their first two games. However, Sweden faced a challenging situation with only eleven forwards available due to injuries and illnesses that had affected Anton Bengtsson, Max Friberg, and Jesper Frödén since the beginning of the tournament. Consequently, Tre Kronor struggled and ultimately suffered a 2-1 defeat against Finland, resulting in the Finns claiming the tournament victory in Karlstad.

Finland displayed a strong start to the match, establishing their dominance and earning an early power play opportunity. Within the first five minutes, Eemeli Finland successfully scored, putting the Finns ahead with a 0-1 lead. As the game progressed, intense moments unfolded in both directions. Towards the end of the first period, Tre Kronor had an opportunity in the power play, but unfortunately, Marcus Sylvegård’s shot hit the post. Despite this, Finland maintained their lead after 20 minutes of play.

Emil Larmi showcased an exceptional performance, proving to be a key player for Finland

Throughout the tournament, it became evident that Finland posed the greatest challenge for Sweden. The Finnish team, known as the white “Lions,” displayed a strong start in the second half, creating numerous opportunities that tested Marcus Högberg, the Swedish goalkeeper. Under the leadership of Jukka Jalonen, Finland’s defense was formidable, effectively shutting down Tre Kronor.

Despite Sweden’s efforts, particularly during power plays, Emil Larmi, the Finnish goalkeeper, proved to be an impenetrable barrier. Larmi remained steadfast as Sweden applied pressure, ensuring a clean sheet for Finland. Capitalizing on their defensive strength, Finland executed a counterattack, resulting in a goal by Pekka Jormakka, extending their lead to 0-2.

Although Sweden dominated in shots on goal, with a score of 17-11 in their favor after two periods, they were unable to convert their opportunities into goals.

Hardegård’s influence diminished – however, Finland remained resilient

Finland commenced the third period with a strong performance, but ultimately Emil Larmi succumbed to Sweden’s intensified offensive. Malte Strömwall skillfully passed the puck to Marcus Hardegård, who successfully converted it into a goal, resulting in a score of 1-2. Notably, Luleåbacken has now scored in two consecutive games. Consequently, Tre Kronor established a connection and initiated a more aggressive approach in their pursuit of an equalizer.

At the midpoint of the game, Sweden had a golden opportunity to level the score through a power play. Despite creating several promising chances, Larmi’s exceptional saves ensured that the score remained 1-2. Tre Kronor continued to create scoring opportunities, but Larmi stood strong in the goal, denying them any chance of equalizing.

With two and a half minutes remaining, Sweden called for a timeout and replaced their goalkeeper with an extra attacker. However, Finland held their ground and emerged victorious with a 2-1 win, securing the title of champions in the Beijer Hockey Games. The third period saw an astonishing shot count of 19-2 in favor of Sweden, resulting in a total of 36-13 shots throughout the game. Nevertheless, Emil Larmi’s outstanding performance ensured Finland’s triumph.

During this season’s Euro Hockey Tour, Sweden has achieved one tournament victory in Switzerland, along with securing second place in both Finland and Sweden tournaments.

 

Belarus U20 Wins Future Cup

Belarus U20 wins the Future cup for the 2nd year in a row

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Minsk-hosted traditional international Future Cup tournament has concluded. The final game witnessed a fierce competition between the Russian U18 junior team and the Belarusian U20 national team, as they battled for the top spot. With both teams boasting two victories each, the game was played with the motto “The winner takes all.”

It is intriguing that this particular game currently bore similarities to the previous one, where the Russian U17 and Kazakhstan U20 national teams clashed. Initially, the young players struggled to adjust to the style of their more experienced adversaries, resulting in their loss during the initial period. The sole distinction lied in the fact that the 18-year-olds conceded three goals within 20 minutes, as opposed to the 17-year-olds who only let in two. The penalties proved to be their downfall, as the Belarusians capitalized on the power play to score the first two goals.

The Russian juniors exhibited equal determination and inspiration during the second period, ultimately securing a victory and gaining a lead in the score by the break. A noteworthy aspect shared by both junior teams was the occurrence of a crucial event known as a “goal from the locker room”: Vadim Dudorov managed to score just 20 seconds after the game resumed (it is worth noting that the Russian U17 team took 31 seconds to achieve this feat in their match against the Kazakhstan team).

It is worth mentioning that the Russians’ resurgence in the game commenced with the goalkeeper. Pyotr Andreyanov initiated the offensive move, culminating in Dudorov’s successful goal. Subsequently, everything fell into place seamlessly, as Mark Slivchenko and Timur Kol managed to nullify the opponents’ lead in just over eight minutes. Furthermore, in the 33rd minute, Ivan Ryabkin propelled the Russia U18 team into the lead.

In the final period, the Russians were finally granted their first opportunity to play with a man advantage, and Kol capitalized on it, scoring two goals. The Belarusians effectively shut down any further chances for the Russians to level the playing field, resulting in the juniors maintaining a 100% success rate on power plays. Unfortunately, the game while shorthanded left much to be desired. It was now the Belarusians’ turn to turn the tide of the game and they did so by scoring two goals in the last seven minutes, one of which came during a power play. As a result, three out of the five goals conceded by the Russians during regulation time were a direct consequence of penalties. 

Dmitri Tukach secured the victory for the Belarusians, along with the coveted championship trophy for the second consecutive year, during the final minute of extra time in the game that went into overtime.

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