Finland vs Denmark World Junior Exhiibition hockey at Langley Events Centre, Dec. 19, 2018. Gary Ahuja Langley Events Centre photo

Finns savage Danes in World Juniors hockey preview in Langley

The exhibition game saw the Finnish team, packed with NHL prospects, dominate start to finish.

Anton Lundell scored twice while six other players had a goal apiece as Finland defeated Denmark 7-0 on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre, as part of the Lordco Auto Parts Road to the World Juniors series.

The exhibition series features a dozen games in nine different venues ahead of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. It runs December 26 to January 5 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Victoria’s Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

The players did not make their coaching staff’s job of picking players any easier.

“The players are making the last decisions very hard,” commented Finnish coach Jussi Ahokas, following the game. “I thought all four lines played well and we played as a five-man unit. Our guys were committed to playing our game and we were able to control the game.”

Finland dominated in all aspects of the game, holding their Danish opponent to a mere nine shots on goal the entire game. That included just two shots over the final 40 minutes.

Finland led 3-0 after one period as Anton Lundell scored twice and Rasmus Kupari – a Los Angeles Kings first round pick – added a third.

Sami Moilanen and Santeri Virtanen (Winnipeg Jets, fourth round) tallied in the middle stanza and Jesse Ylonen (Montreal Canadiens, second round) and Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers, second round) struck in the final frame.

Finland wraps up their exhibition schedule with a game against Canada Dec. 23 at Rogers Arena while Denmark faces Sweden on Dec. 22 at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.

“We want to be efficient like this and keep growing from here,” Ahokas said.

Filip Lindberg and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – a second round pick off the Buffalo Sabres – split the goaltending duties for Finland while Mads Sogaard went the distance for Denmark, finishing with 33 saves.

Following the game, the teams played three-on-three overtime and Denmark had a glorious chance in the first minute, but David Madsen’s shot rang off the cross bar.

Kupari struck late in the overtime period when he used a great burst of speed at the opposing blue-line to get around his man and then beat Sogaard with a shot off the post and in.

The teams also conducted a five-round shootout and after both teams were blanked in the first three rounds, Ylonen and Lundell struck for Finland while Denmark was stopped on their fourth attempt.

Langley Events Centre will host one more exhibition game on Saturday, Dec. 22 with the United States – featuring the Vancouver Canucks first round pick in 2018, Quinn Hughes, as well as his younger brother Jack, the expected first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft – against the Czech Republic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

OUR VIEW: Election could well backfire on Horgan

Are voters angry enough to cast NDP out, after sending us to the polls in the middle of a pandemic?

LETTER: Wearing masks is not an assault on people’s freedoms

COVID: Langley writer feels covering your mouth and nose for the sake of others is not a lot to ask

VIDEO: Construction progressing on Langley Memorial Hospital ER

The new MRI magnet was lifted into place on Wednesday

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Langley woman’s Halloween spirit

Tanya Reid posted a pair of videos offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read