Face-off: 1820, 29/05/2022
Arena: Tampere Deck Arena
Hosts Finland and holders Canada will meet in a dream final of the 2022 IIHF World Championship and everything is set for a cracking contest.
The Finns have shown the better form over the whole tournament, but the Canadians appear to have come good at just the right time.
We’re taking 2.05 for the defending champions to retain their trophy for our first Finland vs Canada prediction.
Finland breezed through what looked a tough Group B with six wins and just one shootout loss versus runners-up Sweden.
Jukka Jalonen’s side have had to dig deep in the playoffs, though, with the pressure of playing in front of their own fanatical fans taking a toll.
They had to come from 2-0 down to beat Slovakia 4-2 and were pushed all the way by the United States in a 4-3 semi-final success.
Dallas Stars defenceman Miro Heiskanen led the way with a goal and two assists yesterday, while Sakari Manninen, Sami Vatanen and Joel Armia also netted.
“Everybody’s cheering for us,” said Mikael Granlund. “We just try to take all the energy we can from that.
“It should be fun in the final, but we’ve got to get prepared, enjoy this one for a bit and get ready for the next one.”
However, Finland again fell behind early on against the Americans and we just feel the nerves have got to them a little bit.
That is nothing new, as they are hosting the tournament for the ninth time and this is the first occasion when they will medal!
Looking at the 2.55 for the holders to break the deadlock in the opening period.
Canada overcame a shaky start to last year’s tournament to strike gold and are on course to repeat that feat.
Having been sloppy at the back for much of their Group A campaign, Claude Julien’s men looked down and out when trailing Sweden 3-0 in the quarter-finals.
However, they rallied to win that game 4-3 in overtime and then thrashed the Czech Republic 6-1 in the semis.
Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens continued his fine form with two goals and an assist and now has 12 points overall.
Adam Lowry, Kent Johnson, Mathew Barzal and Cole Sillinger were also on target in a surprisingly one-sided triumph.
“We came here to win,” declared defender Ryan Graves. “We take pride in our hockey.
“As Canadians, hockey is 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 came over here.”
These teams have met in the last two finals, with Canada prevailing 3-2 in overtime 12 months ago and Finland winning 3-1 in 2019.
Odds of 4.1 for another draw at the end of regular time will tempt some, as a tight tussle is expected.
However, we prefer 7.0 for the defending champions to shade it by one goal after 60 minutes in our Finland vs Canada betting tips.
FINLAND 4-3 United States
CANADA 6-1 Czech Republic
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