While the likes of Team USA and Team Canada are often talked about as hockey superpowers when it comes to international play, the tide has turned in favor of Finland, who captured the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship in the Gold Medal game, downing the Canadians in thrilling fashion.
Just over six minutes into the unlimited three-on-three overtime period, Finland’s Sakari Manninen scored on the power play to lift the Finns to victory.
#Finland #LEIJONAT 🦁🏒🥇Gold #mmkisat pic.twitter.com/aMO6w4aDVo
— P0liitikot (@p0liitikot) May 29, 2022
The victory comes in a game during which the two teams entered the first intermission scoreless, and Team Finland entering the third period down 1-0. Mikael Granlund (a member of the NHL’s Nashville Predator) scored two goals just over a minute apart in the second, followed by a goal from teammate Joel Armia (Montreal Canadiens) roughly nine minutes later. The Canadians scored two goals before the end of regulation to tie the game and send the two teams to overtime, where Finland would prevail.
What a game. https://t.co/84FaRT33Pn
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 29, 2022
The Gold Medal marks Finland’s (who played host country to the 2022 World Championship) second Gold Medal in the Year 2022, joining just one other team (Team Sweden in 2006) to accomplish the feat. In nine years hosting the World Championship, 2022 marks the first in which Team Finland has secured the ultimate prize. Goalie Jussi Olkinuora was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
“Every emotion I had”
Sakari Manninen on @leijonat’s 4-3 overtime win in the gold medal game of #IIHFWorlds. #FINCAN #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/4YpChnmgTw
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 29, 2022
The 2022 World Championship Gold Medal is the latest in a string of international successes for Finland, a country with a population (5.5 million as of 2020) less than that of the Commonwealth of Virginia (8.5 million as of 2020), as they have come away with Gold or Silver Medals in the last four notable international tournaments; in 2019 they won the Gold Medal at the World Championships, the previously-mentioned Olympic Gold Medal earlier this year, and Silver Medal in the World tournament last year.
That moment when you get to party like champions 🏆 @leijonat #iihfworlds pic.twitter.com/m9Mo5qjfMt
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 29, 2022
AROUND THE WORLD (CHAMPIONSHIP)
Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny, and former Capitals Jakub Vrana and Tomas Kundratek, secured the Bronze Medal with Team Czechia (Czech Republic) in an 8-4 victory over the Americans. Kempny recorded a plus-1 rating in eight games played in the tournament, with no points. The Americans and Czechs lost to Finland and Canada, respectively, to be matched for the Bronze matchup.
Kempny shared a photo of the Bronze Medal to his Instagram story, as well as a video of the team celebrating in the locker room, post-game.
Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary finished in eighth place with Team Slovakia, recording one goal in five games. Prospect Tobias Geisser and Team Switzerland finished fifth, with the former fourth-round pick (120th in 2017) completing the 2022 Worlds with one assist in eight games.
For a complete overview of the 2022 IIHF World Championship, visit the official website HERE
By Michael Fleetwood