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WJC Day 8: Suomi Survival

In the lone game of Tuesday, we found out who stayed in the WJC in 2018!

Latvia v Finland - Relegation - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Every time I hear the country Finland out of context, my mind goes right to my childhood.

Now that this is stuck in your head all day, let’s get to the reason why I call out the Scandinavian country.

Finland 4 - Latvia 1

Ahh yes, the team we all were shocked was getting torched in the World Juniors found it in them to stay alive for next year. It’s hard not to look at new coach Jussi Ahokas and think how his arrival signaled the Fins to stay alive. He was even thrown that he was going to be coaching this team, as he was slated to take over the bench boss role for next season’s team and happened to be in Montreal just to scout. Check out this story from the Toronto Sun to learn more about how he stepped up.

In any case, let’s take a look at Game 2 of the relegation round and see how it all shook up. Latvia didn’t put themselves in a position to win literally from the get-go, taking a penalty seven seconds into the game, then another 43 seconds later, where Eeli Tolvanen struck on the 5-on-3, making it 1-0 Finland. Despite Latvia getting their own man advantage goal, a slew of second period penalties led to a carryover power play for Finland and Vili Saarijarvi potted the game winner. For good measure, Juuso Valimaki got another power play goal and an even strength marker to put Finland out of Latvia’s reach. With that, we won’t see Marek Mitens and Latvia in Buffalo next year.

So the bracket doesn’t change at all, as we await the results of Wednesday’s semifinal matches for Thursday’s medal games.