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TAMPERE, Finland — For the second straight 12 months, Crew USA misplaced within the semifinal spherical of the ice hockey world championship.

Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen had a purpose and two assists as host Finland outlasted the Individuals 4-3 in entrance of 11,055 followers Saturday. Montreal Canadiens ahead Joel Armia and former New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen added a purpose and an help every, as Finland secured a second straight championship look in opposition to Canada.

“It is particular,” mentioned Finland’s Mikko Lehtonen, a former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman who has 10 factors within the match. “In the meanwhile, it is at all times one recreation. It is a closing. It would not matter who you play, however in entrance of the house followers, it is at all times particular for us.”

Canada, which gained the match final season, powered previous Czech Republic 6-1 within the second semifinal. Buffalo Sabres middle Dylan Cozens scored twice for Canada, a squad that’s loaded with NHL gamers whose present groups are usually not within the postseason.

“We got here right here to win,” Canada’s Ryan Graves, a defenseman for the Devils, mentioned. “We take delight in our hockey. As Canadians, hockey’s in our blood, so I do know everybody again house is rooting for us to get gold. It is an honor to play on your nation and that is the entire motive we come over right here.”

Ottawa Senators ahead Adam Gaudette scored for Crew USA, and Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman — a late addition to the roster after Boston was eradicated in Spherical 1 of the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes — made 22 saves within the loss. Final 12 months, the Individuals misplaced to Canada 4-2 within the semifinal spherical.

“It is positively a troublesome one,” American left wing Sean Farrell, a Canadiens prospect, mentioned. “We battled as onerous as we may, however they are a actually good crew and so they ended up popping out on prime. We have simply gotta refocus and be able to battle for a bronze [Sunday].”

Crew USA will meet Czech Republic within the third-place recreation Sunday.

For Finland, this will likely be its third consecutive championship closing. The Finns outlasted Canada 3-1 in 2019, and the match was canceled in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone’s cheering for us,” Finland ahead Mikael Granlund, a middle for the Nashville Predators, mentioned. “We simply attempt to take all of the power we are able to from that. It needs to be enjoyable [Sunday], however we gotta get ready, take pleasure in this one for a bit, and prepare for the subsequent one.”

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