Finland took their second win of the World Juniors as they secured their spot in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 win over Switzerland thanks to a stellar game by Anton Lundell. Switzerland started well and even got the lead, but couldn’t hold on to it due to a few key factors.
Fast Equalizer By Anton Lundell
The main struggle in Switzerland’s loss against Slovakia was their inability to score goals on Simon Latkoczy, who was playing the game of his life. This drought was starting to become a worry but after just four minutes during their first chance on the powerplay, Raymond Fust pulled off a great move along the boards to get open and found a perfect pass to Attilio Biasca, who snipped it on Roope Taponen. It was exactly the start the Swiss needed.
What should have been their kickstart to the tournament instead turned into a punch to the gut as Lundell tied the game after a giveaway in the defensive zone just 36 seconds after Biasca’s goal. It was back to square one for the Swiss, who afterward, was pressured heavily by a Finnish team who were energized after the tying goal. Lundell especially was flying and creating a ton of trouble.
Playing with the lead often gives a team wings and the Swiss really needed that in this game, especially in the third period where Finland pulled away slowly. Had the lead stayed long into the game, the game might have turned into a very similar scenario as has been the case in the two team’s recent history. Switzerland has found ways to win by scoring first and chasing a goal on a counter-attack.
X-Factor Players And Plays
Lundell is a superstar in this year’s World Juniors, joining the ranks of Kaapo Kaako, Sebastian Aho, and Kasperi Kapanen in Finnish folklore. He was doing it all and playing with fire. The goal he scored was of the utmost importance as mentioned above, but his play set up numerous chances for his teammates. In the end, he deservingly got an assist to ice the game at 4-1 when he, together with Roni Hirvonen and Kasper Simontaival, scored a tic-tac-toe goal on the powerplay.
When Lundell wasn’t on the ice, the Swiss was looking far more able to create a chance. But, even without their captain, Finland has a few players that can pull out a moment of brilliance. The first is seventeen-year-old Brad Lambert, who is looking like a very exciting prospect for the 2022 draft. During a man advantage in the third period, with it being a one-goal game, Lambert took control of the powerplay. Having just shot the puck wide after a great move, he seconds later found Aku Raty in the slot with a shot pass, that Raty just needed to get a stick on.
The third player or play worth mentioning is the goal of the tournament that gave Finland the lead. On yet another powerplay, Juuso Parssinen received the puck in his own zone and with great speed, split the defenders and fired home a glorious backhand past Thibault Fatton, who looked stunned as it went into the top corner. A Sidney Crosby-like goal by Parssinen, that crushed the momentum of the Swiss.
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