Samuel Montembeault picked an excellent moment to close the door to the Men’s World Hockey Championship, helping Canada beat Finland 4-1 in the quarter-finals on Thursday in Tampere.
The Maple Leaf reached the semi-finals of the competition not only convincingly, but also by knocking out the defending champions in front of their fans. Montembeault contributed to this important gain by blocking 27 shots. The Montreal Canadiens goaltender lost his shutout with 3:08 left in the game when he was beaten by Teemu Hartikainen.
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“We played really well, commented Montembeault after the game. I think we have really improved since the start of the tournament. We knew it would be a close game. The third goal was huge, it took a lot of weight off our shoulders. We played a very good third period and we controlled the game well.
“It’s hard to lose in the quarter-finals,” replied Hartikainen. Their keeper stood up to all attacks. We had good chances, but he made some really big saves.
The other Habs representative on this team, Justin Barron, stood out in the second period when he fed forward Jake Neighbors with a backhand pass. He then found the Quebecer Samuel Blais on his right, who was happy to outsmart Emil Larmi.
The Finnish goalkeeper was surprised in the first period by the net of Jack Quinn. In fact, everyone was taken by surprise, since the Buffalo Sabers forward was alone in the middle of four white jerseys when he fired a shot without warning.
Larmi’s tough day continued in the third period on Matt Coronato’s goal. The view of the Finn was completely blocked by the fight in front of the cage of Tyler Toffoli and Atte Ohtamaa. The two belligerents then fell on the back of the goalkeeper, who was fortunately not injured.
The captain, Toffoli, completed the scoring in an empty net. This success confirmed that Canada was really in the game, despite some difficulties in the preliminary phase. According to the former CH, the youth of the team makes the course very pleasant.
“I believe this year we have taken on an underrated team role. Everyone is excited, everyone is playing. We have four lines and everyone has chances and brings a lot of energy,” he said.
The representatives of the maple leaf will find in the semifinals Latvia, which overthrew Sweden on Thursday. The match will take place at the Nokia Arena in Tampere.