Atlantic kept pushing to try and get back in this game, Noel displaying some great speed and hands on his rush to drive the puck wide and cut to the net for a good shot, and then on the power play Atlantic had a play down low next to the net themselves as this seemed to be the play of the game, both teams trying to work the puck down low next to the net. Noel got the pass next to the net and moved out front to Pugsley who put the shot on and Hynes was able to bang in the rebound to score Atlantic’s 1st goal of the game. But just a minute later Finland was able to respond again as there was a battle in front and both Lammikko and Lamsa were battling hard for Finland and Lamsa ended up banging in the puck in the scramble play in front of the Atlantic goal. There were long periods of time for the rest of the period where Finland would control the play in the offensive zone and had some great puck control, and Nattinen was able to use his size to drive the puck wide and protect the puck to draw another power play for Finland. Hopponen had speed off the rush all game long and was able to make a really good centering pass to a man driving hard to the net but just couldn’t connect on the pass.
Donaghey was trying to jump down low to join the attack in the offensive zone for Atlantic, getting himself to the slot for shots, and Bishop displayed some really great hands on a nice toe-drag move to get to the slot with space for a nice opportunity. Honkanen was battling hard showing excellent strength and puck protection to drive the puck to the net, and the period ended with Bishop and Hopponen both taking coincidental penalties as they were battling hard and pushing and shoving after the whistle displaying some frustration on the side of Bishop as the period ended with Finland up 5-1.
As the third period started Kapanen was flying again and made a great pass to the far side in the offensive zone for Tervo who had jumped up on the play for a great chance but just missed the net on his opportunity. Just under 5 minutes into the first period there was some really nice passing between the line of Rantanen, Lammikko and Lamsa to get Lamsa the puck off the rush as he walked into the slot with some nice hands and moves to score on the back-hand chance. Atlantic tried to respond with a great feed down low to Tibbo who had some time and space in tight in front of the net to make a move but just couldn’t finish the play on his chance. The play went back the other way as Makinen made a great pass to Kapanen right next to the net to connect on the pass for an excellent chance from in tight, and Atlantic started to get frustrated taking some bad penalties on poor decisions.
Just when it looked like Atlantic had nothing left to give Highmore took the play by control winning a great race to the puck showing some great speed off the rush and some really nice patience to hold up and wait for a lane to open up and move the puck across to Kielly to score the team’s 2nd goal of the game. Finland responded as Kapanen took a drop pass of the rush going the other way to put a great shot on from a good scoring position, and then Kauppinen showed his great speed down low off the rush for an excellent chance on a shot from in tight. Kapanen then blew by the Atlantic team on the rush to get a 3-on-1 opportunity and made a great pass back to Nattinen right in the middle who finished the play off with a really good shot for Finland to go up 7-2. Kapanen then later made a great cross-ice feed finding lanes on the power play, and finished off the power play with a nice pass to Tuulola in the high slot to score Finland’s 8th goal of the game. The game started to get really chippy near the end with a lot of pushing and shoving and aggression shown as frustration and tempers ran high for Atlantic, and on the power play Highmore was opening up really well to take one-timer passes in the high slot, and was distributing the puck well, but the game finished with Finland on top 8-2.
HockeyProspect.com 3 Stars of the game:
24 Kasperi Kapanen: With 4 assists in this game it was clear that Kapanen was moving the puck very effectively. He has such great speed to blow by defenders off the rush and works hard to come back on the back-check playing a full 200-foot game. There are times he needs to do more with the puck on the power play as he will take some low chance shots and needs to have a bit more creativity to his game, but for the most part was dangerous every time he went out onto the ice with such incredible hands, skill and speed to his game.
22 Manu Honkanen: Honkanen had 2 goals in this game and was showing some tremendous battle, strength and puck protection on a few occasions to drive the puck towards the net. He can take passes well at the side of the net and walk out front to the slot for chances from in tight and is not intimidated to go to the dirty areas. He is a hard working player with a nice element of skill as well.
20 Teemu Lamsa: Lamsa had a hat trick in this game as he was able to get to some good scoring areas to get shots off with some space. He showed some nice hands and the ability to walk into the slot off the rush with speed and finished off his plays with some good shots as well.