Canada stunned by Finland in quarter-final thriller

On Wednesday night in Vancouver, Canada found themselves 46 seconds away from making their way to the semifinals at the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Instead, they will end up without a medal from the tournament for the second time in four years.

After a wild series of events, Finnish defenceman Toni Utunen’s shot bounced off of Cody Glass’ stick and past netminder Michael DiPietro to give his team a dramatic 2-1 quarter-final triumph in overtime.

Having been unable to muster any pressure on goal for most of the final frame, Finland tied the game on a fluky play as Eeli Tolvanen’s shot from the side of the net bounced off former Swift Current Broncos forward Aleksi Heponiemi and into the net.

Early in the extra frame, Canada received a penalty shot when Evan Bouchard was hooked on a breakaway attempt.

Head coach Tim Hunter chose captain Maxime Comtois to take the shot, but he was turned aside by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Blueliner Noah Dobson had a wide-open net to shoot at minutes later following a feed from Glass, but his stick exploded as he took the shot and the Finns would soon race up the ice for their eventual game-winner.

Canada, who has lost their last three knockout games to Finland, got their lone goal in the second period on a blast by blueliner Ian Mitchell.

Prince Albert Raiders forward Brett Leason, who was turned aside by Luukkonen on a breakaway late in the third period, had three goals and two assists in five games at the tournament.

Ian Scott got the start in one game for Canada as he made 15 saves in a 3-2 win over Switzerland on Dec. 27.

Next up for Finland is a semifinal matchup on Friday with Switzerland, who stunned Sweden 2-0 in a quarter-final contest Wednesday.

The other semifinal will see the United States take on Russia.

The Americans advanced to the semis with a 3-1 win over the Czech Republic, while Russia routed Slovakia in an 8-3 affair.