No one is going to mistake it for the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980, but Finland's upset of Canada in the World Junior Championships on Wednesday night is one of the more stunning hockey upsets in recent memory. Any time any Canadian hockey team loses at any level it's shocking (except in the NHL...ayyeee O!), but the way this loss happened was particularly excruciating to watch.
As a -240 favorite, many expected Canada to quickly dispose of the Fins and move on to the semifinal round for a rematch with Russia, who beat Canada 2-1 in the preliminary round. But Finland hung in the whole game, outshooting the Canadians 23-17 through two periods and only giving up one goal. Down 1-0 with less than a minute in the game, Finland pulled its goalie and then pulled off miracle No. 1:
Good and bad bounces are part of the game, but that was quite the fortuitous bounce of the puck for Finland, though you have to give them credit for taking advantage. Canada still had its chance in overtime, and less than two minutes in they were awarded a penalty shot. Game over, right? Well .... here's miracle No. 2:
At this point, Finland had to believe it was their time, but they still had to ... finnish it off. And they did, but not before getting another huge break, literally, with under five minutes to play. Miracle No. 3:
You won't find may non-Canadian hockey fans that ever feel bad for Canada losing, but man, that is tough to watch:
Hate to see it. Finland will now move on to play Russia on Friday in the semifinal, and the winner of that game will take on the winner of USA and Switzerland in the final on Saturday night.