Finland’s women’s national ice hockey team inflicted a heavy 4-0 loss on Russia this weekend, as they continued their campaign at the World Championships taking place in Espoo.
“I think we played well. We had the puck more and we created a lot” said team captain Riikka Sallinen.
Goals came from Viivi Vainikka, Elisa Holopainen, Sanni Hakala and Petra Nieminen – all players aged under 21, which their coach thinks bodes well for future Olympic victories.
“It’s a wonderful feeling for a coach to trust the youngest players and see them succeed” coach Pasi Mustonen told reporters after the victory.
“I can hardly wait until the next Olympics. We may have had our next first line on the ice” he said.
Redemption after opening defeat
Saturday’s win against Russia – the Finnish Lionesses beat them to the bronze medal at last year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea – brings balances the books for the team, after losing the opening game of their World Champsionship campaign.
On Thursday night, the Finns made the Americans fight into the third period to win their Espoo encounter.
The Finnish team lead 2-1 going into the third period but the American side, who are the reigning World and Olympic champions, showed their strength to win 6-2.
“I think we played a really good first two periods, but with the third one, we can’t be happy” Finnish captain Jenni Hiirikoski told reporters after the match.
Finland have only ever beaten the USA once in the World Championships, a 1-0 victory back in 2008.
Next up for the Finns is a Monday game against Switzerland. The Swiss lost both of their opening two games, against Russia and Canada.