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Canada, Finland set for title game

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Reuters  Vasily Fedosenko

We played together, played 60 minutes. "I think we deserved a medal".

Finland began the second period much as they had the first, and Niko Ojamäki was very unlucky not to give the Lions a deserved lead when his shot came back off the post.

Finnish captain Marko Anttila scored the winning goal early in the second period, banging in a shot from the slot.

Kevin Lankinen made 42 saves for Finland, allowing only Shea Theodore's first-period goal.

Matt Murray stopped 19 shots for Canada. He becomes the first player to win gold at the u18, u20 and men's level before being draft eligible. Canada's silver pushes its medal tally to four in the past five years.

He is 18-years-old.

"I kind of just jumped through and put it on net", he said. We had some spells where maybe we didn't, but overall we played a really good tournament.

Although they were on the back foot for long spells against the fast-skating Russians, Finland always looked more likely to score from lightning breaks and almost did so in the second period when Niko Ojamaki hit the post. He also scored in Finland's 1-0 upset win over Russian Federation in Saturday's semi-final.

Finland didn't have an easy road to the gold medal game, either. Pesonen added an insurance goal with 4:06 left to play in the third, when Canada outshot Finland 21-3.

"We needed that tonight", he said. "Murray was really good when we made mistakes and that's what made the difference".

"I don't know if anybody else has but the way we're playing, we can beat any team in this tournament". They were good today, but we were a little bit better. "They cash in at the right time, they sit back and play well defensively, and the goalie was good". The title game is Sunday. Canada hasn't won gold since back-to-back world championships in 2015 and 2016. The veteran National Hockey League coach was dismissed by the New York Rangers at the end of the 2017-18 season. "It's very exciting and that's what we're here for".

Earlier Sunday, Russia beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout for bronze. Russian Federation was outshot 50-30 through 70 minutes of play, including 10 minutes of sudden-death 3-on-3 overtime, then outscored the Czech Republic 2-0 in the shootout on goals from Ilya Kovalchuk and Nikita Gusev.

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