Finland wins Olympic hockey tournament for the first time in its history

This is a historic consecration for Finland. Having been crowned three times at the World Championships (1995, 2011, 2019), the Nordic team has finally made its name on the Olympic Games. On Sunday, in the last final of the Beijing Games, the Finns dominated Russia (2-1).

Holders of the title, the Russians had opened the scoring on their first digital superiority thanks to Grigorenko (8th) while the Finns failed to turn their power-play situation. In the second period, the equalization came from a long -distance launch of Pokka City that played a Fedotov mask (24th). The match definitely kicked off from the first seconds of the third quarter on a shot by Bjorninen (41st).

That goal was enough to offer a historic gold medal to Finland, which has so far lost its only Olympic final (2006). Since then, she has also been crowned and bronze in 2010 and in 2014.

Porter Harri Sateri shines in the final phase

Is it as much of a surprise to see the golden Finns? Not really because the Finns had this experience of failure: the one that makes you have to play without your best players. Finland had been world champions in 2019 with mainly the players of Liiga, its Elite Championship. Sa tête? The same Jukka Jalonen, that coach who had thought of this world champion team in the least details. “I only had very few NHL players and a lot of KHL players. (Russian League) would have calmed down seeing that their season began in July. I know the League, I know its players well. We are looking for it: players who could be based on a team. »

In 2019, the Finns realized that they could win without their NHL stars like Sebastian Aho or Alexander Barkov. Two years later, Jukka Jalonen modeled his effectiveness by adding touches of individuality that could make the difference in a final phase forcibly closed between several teams (Russia, Sweden, Finland): Sakarin Manninen, atta 1.72 m) mais si fin at si rapide sur la glace, at aussi le goalie Harri Sateri, brillant avec Novossibirsk sa KHL ats l’année at inevitably remarquable pendant cette quinzaine. He only scored two goals in the quarter, half and final (or 97.46 % of stops in the final phase, a great performance for a goalkeeper).

Jukka Jalonen at the bars of assistant-captain Atte Ohtamaa. (B. Snyder/Reuters)

The Finnish collective was invincible during these JOs, with a force of character that allowed him to undo his rare apparent vulnerabilities. The chicken match against the enemy neighbors, the Swedes, was the proof. Defeated 3-0 in the middle of the match, the Finns grasped little by little their delay in a meeting where every contact near the balustrade made the plexiglass vibrate, where every pallet held by the keeper was mixed with players, before ‘Harri Pesonen doesn’t close the debate with an overtime goal (4-3).

Liesse awaits for the heroes

After the medals ceremony, Finnish captain Valtteri Filppula recalled that the title was “something very strong” for his country and paid tribute to his selector Jukka Jalonen, extending his palm to the head of the national team with two world titles (2011 and 2019) and a silver medal last season in addition to a bronze medal JO of Vancouver in 2010. “The numbers speak for themselves, don’t they?” He built a game system that proved it. He has great experience and he also knows how to reassure us when the time is right. »

Two years ago, 50,000 people welcomed the heroes of Slovakia to Helsinki. They will undoubtedly be much more numerous in a few days to celebrate this or not.


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