When Team Canada pushed, Pekka Rinne shoved back. The result was Finland moving on and Canada going home.
Rinne made 36 saves as Canada dropped a 3-2 decision Thursday at the world hockey championship at Chizhovka Arena. It was the fifth straight year that Canada has been eliminated in the quarter-finals.
“We had a couple breakdowns,” said Canadian captain Kevin Bieksa. “We knew going into this game that the Finns were a team that would sit back and capitalize on our mistakes, and they made us pay tonight.”
Finland’s Iiro Pakarinen scored the game-winner with 3:08 left in regulation after a Team Canada turnover.
“You always want to play better when you lose,” Scrivens said. “They got better goaltending than us tonight, and that was the difference.”
Kyle Turris and Mark Scheifle scored Canada’s goals, with each one coming in the second period. Goaltender Ben Scrivens finished with 23 saves.
Olli Palola and Juuso Hietanen also scored for Finland.
Canada’s problem of slow starts continued, and its penchant for taking penalties cropped up early and led to Finland’s first goal. After an effective but unsuccessful power play that included Brayden Schenn ringing a shot off the crossbar, defenceman Tyler Myers took a roughing penalty 4:31 in.
With 17 seconds left on that penalty, Hietanen’s attempted point shot deflected off penalty-killer Joel Ward’s stick and right to Palola, whose blast from the middle of the left faceoff circle beat Scrivens to make it 1-0 Finland at 6:14.
Canada wasted its first three power plays in the first period, along with the fourth that bled over into the second frame. But Turris managed to tie things at even strength.
Forcing a turnover at the defensive blue-line, Turris banked the puck off the right wall on a give-and-go with Matt Read, then took the pass back and fired a one-timer in at 5:51 of the second.
Scheifele, one of Canada’s most improved players over the course of the tournament, made it 2-1 at 12:08. With the teams at four a side, Scheifele beat Rinne clean on a two-on-one rush.
Finland tied it 2-2 on a strange goal 28 seconds into the third period. Hietanen’s slapshot hit Scrivens’ blocker, then bounced off the shaft of his stick and trickled in before he could dive back and stop it.
A turnover by Myers led to Pakarinen’s game-winner.
“It was our game to lose,” Myers said. “It’s never a good feeling to have it happen like that.”
Notes: Alex Burrows returned to Canada’s lineup after missing the final two preliminary-round games with a leg injury. Burrows was the 13th forward. ... Finland’s roster features just three NHL players: Rinne, Olli Jokinen of the Winnipeg Jets and Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild.