Don’t push the panic button or call for a National inquest, but Team Canada lost its pre-tournament opener to Finland 3-2.
Penalties proved to be the downfall for the Canadians, as they were whistled for 9 minor penalties and allowed the Finish to score twice while Canada was down 5 on 3.
Griffin Reinhart and Mark Scheifele scored for Canada, with goals 34 seconds apart in the second period. Canada played without Jonathan Huberdeau, whose QMJHL suspension was still in effect but would end following the game.
Malcolm Subban went the distance in net, allowing three goals on 22 shots.
While you never want to see Team Canada lose, it is not the end of the world. After travelling across time zones, playing together for the first time and adjusting to a different style of officiating the result is not entirely unexpected. Better to get these adjustments into their system before the tournament begins.
Canada gets another chance to work out any kinks in their game when they face defending champion Sweden on Saturday in their final tuneup before the game’s begin for real. The Swedes lost 3-2 in overtime to the US just after the Canada game.