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Finland wins hockey world title on home ice

An overtime goal by Sakari Manninen secured a fourth ever world championship title for the Lions.

Sakari Manninen scored the winning goal. Image: IMAGO/ActionPictures/ All Over Press
Ronan Browne

Finland has won the ice hockey world championship after a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over Canada in Sunday evening's final in Tampere.

The 2022 title is the fourth overall for the Lions (or Leijonat) following previous wins in 1995, 2011 and 2019, and marks the first time Finland have won the championship on home ice.

An overtime goal by Sakari Manninen secured the historic win in front of an ecstatic Tampere Arena crowd.

Dramatic game

The first penalty of the game had led to the first goal, when Finland's Niklas Friman was sent to the penalty box for two minutes at the beginning of the second period and Canada took full advantage of their extra numbers to score through Dylan Cozens.

Finland equalised at the beginning of the third period when a succession of penalties saw Canada reduced to just three players plus their goalkeeper on the ice, and the pressure finally told as Mikael Granlund pounced on a loose puck to fire into the net.

The goal proved to be a double blow to Canada, as netminder Chris Driedger was injured while attempting to save Granlund's shot and had to be replaced by Matt Tomkins — who was making his first appearance in this year's tournament.

Mikael Granlund celebrates scoring one of Finland's goals in Sunday's final. Image: Lehtikuva

Although one Canadian player returned from the penalty box, the Lions still had a numerical advantage and capitalised once again through Granlund, as his shot beat Tomkins low to the left.

The Lions then withstood a period of Canadian pressure before Joel Armia scored to put Finland 3-1 ahead, and the win looked secure.

But the evening's drama was far from over. Zach Whitecloud appeared to pull one back for Canada, but the goal was initially chalked off before being reinstated following a video review, and the score was 3-2.

Less than one minute of play later, and with just over one minute left on the clock, Canada equalised when Max Comtois scored his team's third.

Finland rallied in overtime, and took advantage of the power play opportunity offered to them when Thomas Chabot was sent to the penalty box for a hook on Hannes Björninen. Granlund played the pass, and Manninen provided the finish.

The win marks a very successful year for the Finnish team, as the world championship title can now be added to the gold medal won at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

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