Canada 6 Finland 1
By Jennifer Herbold
The Finns could have done it. They could have, but they didn't. Tension ran high as both teams were undefeated at the start of the game. Canada had scored 18 and allowed 5 goals against other countries. Finland had scored 35 and allowed only 1 goal. During the first few minutes, three Canadians found themselves in the penalty box setting the stage for the remainder of the game. The penalty box for both sides were kept busy as players for Finland and Canada were penalized for about 44 and 38 minutes respectively. The game was ugly as ugly could be, with body slams, punches thrown, and a brawl at the Canadian sidelines where the referees took a few punches themselves.
Only one goal was scored during the first period, by Mike Merriman assisted by John Guirestante. Goalie John Kitula for the Finnish team had excellent saves throughout the first period and part of the second, but the Finnish defense proved too sloppy for him to handle. The Finns missed several wonderful opportunites, passed the puck to the Canadians on occassion, and simply did not perform as well as they have during preceding games. John Guirestante led the team in assists with five. Mike Merriman scored five goals, four of them in the second period. The last goal for the Canadians was scored by Terry Maloney, assisted by Casey O'Brian. Kristian Lanto, assisted by Pekka Laakari of the Finns scored their only goal during the last twenty seconds of the game. Although the game was interrupted by a floating red balloon that hovered above the ice, it was an altogether exciting match. Now, for the USA and Canada matchup tomorrow night, the only remaining undefeated teams, apprehension fills the air. . .
Posted on 11 Mar 1999