Canada and Finland are the two favorites in the Group B pool for Men’s Ice hockey in Sochi 2014, and they were both in action on Friday. Both the Finns and Canadians were looking to win their second games of the Sochi Olympics.
Finland beat Austria 8-4 in their first game of the winter Olympics and they were set to face off against Norway in their second game in Sochi. Canada beat Norway by a score of 3-1, and was looking to continue their winning ways against Austria.
While Finland’s offense was able to put up eight goals against the Austrians, they also allowed four goals, including a hat trick by the New York Islanders, Michael Grabner.
Team Finland would get out to another quick start on the offensive end and it was the Finnish Flash opening the scoring for his team. Teemu Selanne scored his first goal in Sochi and his record 39th point in his Olympic career. Just over a minute later, Lauri Korpikoski added a goal of his own to give Finland a 2-0 lead.
Korkiposki added a second goal in the second period to give Finland a 4-0 lead. Then it was the Winnipeg Jet’s Olli Jokinen adding in his first goal of Sochi giving Finland a 5-0 lead heading into the final frame.
Early on in the third Norway’s Per-Age Skroder scored on the power play to put them on the board, but Norway still trailed 5-1. Olli Maata answered for Finland and extended their lead back to five goals. Finland would hold on to win 6-1, and they will face Canada on Sunday in a battle of the Group B titans.
Canada looked to follow in the footsteps of Finland in their Men’s ice Hockey action in Sochi on Friday against Austria. Canadian coaches did not believe they played their best game against Norway on Thursday, despite the 3-1 victory. Canada came into this game with several changes to their lineup. P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene, who were both healthy scratches in the first game, were added into the line up for their game against the Austrians.
Subban would replace Dan Hamhuis on the blue line, while Duchene was set to replace Patrick Sharp on the offensive end. Carey Price also got the night off after his victory against Norway, as Roberto Luongo got the start in net and Mike Smith served as his back up.
Against Norway Canada’s defense scored two of their three goals and it was their defense providing offense again in the first period on Friday. After a face-off win, Jonathan Toews found an open Drew Doughty who rifled in his second goal of the Sochi Olympics to put Canada up 1-0.
Later on in the first period it was another Canadian defensemen scoring, as Shea Weber blasted a one-timer off the pass from Corey Perry to give Canada an early 2-0 lead. The second period was the Jeff Carter show for Team Canada.
Carter caught fire in the second as he went on to score a natural hat trick in the period. Carter faced some criticism after not being a force on the ice in Canada’s first game. Well he completely dominated the second period. Patrick Marleau assisted on all three of Carter’s goals. Ryan Getzlaf added a shorthanded goal in the period to give Canada a 6-0 lead heading into the third period.
Austria started the third period with a goaltender change as Mathias Lange came in for Bernhard Starkbaum. Lange played well for the Austrians in the third period as he shut out the Canadians. However, the Canadians held on to win 6-0. Canada outshot Austria 46-23 and Luongo stopped all shots faced to earn a shutout.
Both Canada and Finland proved victorious in their Men’s Ice hockey action on Friday, and the two undefeated teams will meet up on Sunday for group B supremacy in Sochi 2014.
By Eric Kummel