(Tampere) Jack Quinn and Adam Fantilli hit the target in the first half of the third period and Canada advanced to the Ice Hockey World Championship final with a 4-2 win over Latvia on Saturday after -noon.
In Sunday’s Grand Final, Canada will battle Germany, who upset the United States 4-3 in overtime thanks to a Frederik Tiffels goal, their second of the match, with 2:28 to go. the additional period.
Marcel Nöbels had forced extra time by beating American goalkeeper Casey DeSmith with 1:23 left in regulation time. The Germans also erased a two-goal deficit in the first period.
Like Germany, Canada had to come from behind to snatch victory.
Quinn first allowed head coach André Tourigny’s squad to make it 2-2 after just 45 seconds into the third period.
Fantilli, who many observers rank as the No. 2 prospect for the upcoming National Hockey League draft, gave Canada the lead for the first time in the game some eight minutes later.
After receiving a pass from Milan Lucic near the opponent’s blue line, Fantilli came in front of defender Ralfs Freibergs, knocked him off balance with a nice feint before beating goalkeeper Arturs Silovs with a shot cuffs on the side of the mitten.
Justin Barron, a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, also had an assist on Fantilli’s goal.
“It was a special moment for me. I spent my childhood watching Milan Lucic play; then to score on a pass from him — and what a pass! It was great ! exclaimed Fantilli.
“To score an important goal that allows us to reach the final, it’s incredible,” added the young Ontario. “We would all be very happy to leave here with a gold medal around our necks. We came here to proudly represent our country, so there couldn’t be a better scenario. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow. »
Samuel Blais in the second period and Scott Laughton in an empty net in the last minute of the third period scored Canada’s other goals.
In Locmelis, in the first period, and Rudolfs Balcers, 66 seconds after Blais’ net, beat Montreal Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault, who faced 22 shots.
At the other end, Silovs made 35 saves, including 15 in the second half.
“The Latvians play with heart and a lot of toughness. They had a strong game today. For our part, we stayed focused, and we had to show character after their first goal. The guys did a good job,” Tourigny said.
“Quinn scored an extremely important goal, and what about Fantilli’s,” added Canada’s head coach. “A game that will be remembered for a long time, that’s for sure. I saw no sign of panic on our bench, and all the players gave their all. »
Suddenly, Canada will participate in the grand final for a fourth consecutive edition.
In 2019, 2021 and 2022, the Canadian team has each time faced Finland in the grand final, claiming gold in 2021. This time, their opponents will be Germany, who beat the United States on Saturday after having defeated Switzerland 3-1 in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
In 2020, the competition was canceled due to COVID-19.
Latvia will play for the bronze medal on Sunday against the Americans. In its history, Latvia had never done better than a seventh place in the World Championship before 2023.