Canada goalie Michael DiPietro stops Finland’s Toni Utunen during second period IIHF world junior hockey championship action in Vancouver on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Heartbreak at home: Canada ousted after 2-1 OT loss to Finland

Host nation falls in quarter-final at world juniors

VANCOUVER — Toni Utunen scored 5:17 into overtime as Finland shocked Canada 2-1 on Wednesday in a dramatic quarterfinal at the world junior hockey championship.

Utunen’s teammate Aleksi Heponiemi forced the extra time with just 47 seconds left in regulation.

Ian Mitchell scored for Canada.

Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro stopped 32 of 34 shots in net and was named the player of the game for Canada (3-0-1-1).

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 23 saves for Finland (2-1-0-2).

Canada was last ousted from the tournament’s quarterfinals in 2016 in Helsinki, also by Finland, which went on to win the gold medal that year.

DiPietro was finally beaten at 19:13 of the third period after Canadian defenceman Ty Smith fell in the corner, allowing Eeli Tolvanen to put a shot off the outside netting of Canada’s net. It rebounded back to him and Tolvanen’s second shot bounced off Heponiemi’s ankle and squeaked past DiPietro into the net.

Canada’s best chance in overtime came off a penalty shot after defenceman Evan Bouchard was hauled down.

Canada’s captain Maxim Comtois took the shot, smashing the puck into Luukkonen’s pads.

DiPietro made some miraculous saves in the first period, keeping a nervous-looking Canadian crew in the game.

Finland kept the pressure high, forcing turnovers and exploiting gaps in coverage. They outshot the Canadians 11 to seven in the first frame, but the scoreboard remained empty at the intermission.

Canada came back with more energy in the second and scored 1:30 in.

Arizona Coyotes prospect Barrett Hayton dropped to his knees to protect the puck deep in the Finnish zone and dished it out while being smothered by defenders.

Mitchell picked up the pass and quick shot off, firing a rocket in past Luukkonen to put Canada up 1-0.

Midway through the second period, Canadian captain Maxime Comtois hit Finnish defenceman Ville Heinola hard along the end boards, sending him to the ice.

Heinola crawled along the ice in pain as the play moved to the other end of the ice before he was eventually helped off by a trainer favouring his left leg.

The 17-year-old, who’s eligible for the 2019 draft, went directly to the locker-room and did not return for the third period. No penalty was called on the play.

The hit seemed to once again ignite the Finns. Minutes later, Tolvanen stole the puck and streaked down the ice for a breakaway.

DiPietro made the initial stop, then dropped flat to dave the rebound, too. The crowd of 17,047 responded with chants of “Dee-pee-et-ro!”

RELATED: Canada falls to Russia in New Year’s Eve clash

The goalie’s teammates helped out in the third frame, keeping the puck in the Finnish end for much of the period.

Finland had a pair of wins over Slovakia and Kazakhstan in the tournament’s round-robin phase, while Canada put up a trio of wins before losing 2-1 to Russia on New Year’s Eve.

The Canadians also dropped a pre-tournament match up with the Finns 5-2.

All of the teams still in the tournament will have Thursday off before the semifinals kick off in Vancouver on Friday. Finland will face Switzerland in its semifinal.

Switzerland is brimming with confidence after defeating top-ranked Sweden 2-0 Wednesday in Victoria.

Swiss netminder Luca Hollenstein shut out the Swedes, who peppered the goalie with 41 shots throughout the game.

“To us it’s very big,” said Swiss forward Luca Wyss, who scored the second goal of the game. “Everyone around talked that Sweden is going to beat us. We as a team had in our heads we can play against Sweden.”

The best previous result for the Swiss in the tournament was a bronze medal in 1998.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Canada goalie Michael DiPietro, front, kneels on the ice after Finland defeated Canada during overtime quarter-final IIHF world junior hockey championship action in Vancouver on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canada’s Jared McIsaac, right, checks Finland’s Teemu Engberg during second period IIHF world junior hockey championship action in Vancouver on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canada’s Morgan Frost, from left to right, Barrett Hayton and Ian Mitchell celebrate Mitchell’s goal during second period IIHF world junior hockey championship action against Finland, in Vancouver on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Just Posted

Bulkley Valley SD 54 superintendent leaving

Chris van der Mark has been superintendent with SD54 for eight years, and has hands full in Cariboo.

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

Houston property assessments nudge up

District now working on 2019 spending plans

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read