TAMPERE – Defenseman Miro Heiskanen had a goal and two assists and Finland beat the United States 4-3 on Saturday to set up its third straight world hockey championship final against Canada.
Dylan Cozens scored twice in Canada’s 6-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the other semifinal. Finland beat Canada in the 2019 final in Slovakia, and Canada topped the Finns last year in Latvia.
“We know the building is going to be rocking and the Finns are playing for gold at home,” Cozens said. “But we need to try to have a strong start and not let (Finland) build momentum from their fans.”
Sami Vatanen, Joel Armia and Sakari Manninen also scored for Finland and Jussi Olkinuora made 25 saves. The Finns won their first Olympic title this year in Beijing.
“It’s special,” defenseman Mikko Lehtonen said. “At the moment, it’s always one game. It’s a final. It doesn’t matter who you play, but in front of the home fans, it’s always special for us.”
Nate Schmidt, Sean Farrell and Adam Gaudette scored for the Americans. Jeremy Swayman stopped 22 shots.
“It’s definitely a tough one,” Farrell said. “We battled as hard as we could, but they’re a really good team and they ended up coming out on top. We’ve just got to refocus and be ready to battle for a bronze tomorrow.”
In Canada's victory, Kent Johnson, Adam Lowry, Matt Barzal and Cole Sillinger also scored and Chris Dreidger made 25 saves.
“We came here to win,” Canadian defenseman Ryan Graves said. “We take pride in our hockey. As Canadians, hockey’s in our blood so I know everyone back home is rooting for us to get gold. It’s an honour to play for your country and that’s the whole reason we come over here.”
David Krejci scored for the Czech Republic.