WILD COMEBACK GIVES FINNS EXHIBITION WIN OVER BLACK
JASON LA ROSE
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Henri Nikkanen tied the game with 1:08 remaining and won it 45 seconds after that, leading Finland to a wild 4-2 pre-tournament win over Canada Black on Thursday in advance of the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Finns trailed 2-0 with six minutes to go thanks to a pair of Sasha Mutala (Vancouver, B.C./Tri-City, WHL) goals for the Canadians, but battled back with a frantic finish.
The teams combined for 27 shots in the first period – 14-13 in favour of Black – but Mutala was the lone scorer, netting the 1-0 goal with 17 seconds left in the opening frame.
He added a second at 11:53 of the third to double the Canadian lead, but Samu Koskenkorva cut the advantage in half and got the Finns on the board just over two minutes later.
Finnish goaltender Tomas Keinänen went to the bench with 1:36 to go, setting up the tying goal from Nikkanen at 18:52. He got the winner less than a minute later, and Anton Lundell added an insurance marker eight seconds after that to provide the final margin of victory.
Finland gets its schedule started against Canada Red in the tournament opener in Fort St. John on Sunday afternoon (2:30 p.m. MT), while Canada Black takes on Canada White in Dawson Creek (2:30 p.m. MT).