Ismo Lehkonen surprised by the judges’ decision at the opening of the Lions World Cup – “I wouldn’t have believed it the other day”

Ismo Lehkonen surprised by the judges decision at the opening

The Finnish men’s national ice hockey team lost its opening game of the home games against the United States with 1-4 goals on Friday in Tampere. Teemu Hartikainen scored the Lions’ only goal.

The Lions’ World Cup home games started with a loss, when the United States surprised Finland bluntly with 4–1 goals.

The United States escaped in the final set when Drew O’Connor and Alex Tuch were struck by the Lions’ mistakes.

The most telling situation of the match was already seen in the second period, when it was decided to reject the USA’s goal after Finland’s challenge. In the situation Michael Eyssimont felt close to the goalkeeper’s area Emil Larmin shield just before Matt Coronato raced the puck towards the goal.

– Yes, I felt that someone hit it. I didn’t know if it was outside or inside the area. Based on the video, it would have been outside, but it’s good that it was challenged. I didn’t start to bite, but according to these rules it went right in the end, Larmi commented on the situation.

Sports expert Ismo Lehkonen was surprised by the judges’ decision.

– That challenge unexpectedly went through. I would never have believed that it would go through, commented Lehkonen.

US head coach David Quinn didn’t want to take any further stand on the rejection of the goal.

– Because I have a lot of respect for the judges and the IIHF. But I didn’t agree with the verdict, Quinn commented with a smile on his lips.

The referee’s decision saved Finland even at that stage, when Leijonat led the match 1–0.

However, the USA came even in the second set and lost in the final set.

Sharp start from the Lions

In the opening set of the match, Leijonat was at its best with its number one chain (Teemu Hartikainen–Sakari Manninen–Mikko Rantanen) under the leadership. After 20 seconds of the game, Manninen was already on the run from Hartikainen’s pass, but the lift missed the goal.

The first chain also acquired ice and demonstrated its superiority in a model way. Even the first superiority lacked the final touch, but Finland succeeded in the second superiority.

It was “Härski” Hartikainen who hit Jere Sallinen and at the end of Mannen’s fast passing pattern. The finish was a relief for Hartikainen, as he struggled with finishing in the last games. At that time, six assist points were accumulated in 10 matches.

Also Antti Suomelan led by the second chain was up and running. It stood out in particular Kaapo Kako, who provided Suomela with a perfect pass. The second one later also got to the place itself, but Casey DeSmith saved the shot from the corner of the goal.

Slow defending

In the second period, Coronato had already tied the game, but the Lions’ coaching staff decided to challenge the situation when the assistant coach Mikko Manner was in contact with the video coaches via radio phone. After minutes of review, the hit was disallowed.

Finland’s defense, which was completely left as a spectator in the set, opened up a few times later. Ylärima first saved the Lions from a setback, but after the middle of the set Cutter Gauthier leveled the game with his overhead kick.

– You can’t attack if you defend so casually. I slide and spy, Lehkonen stated about playing the second set.

– If the game is sliding, and not hungry to catch up, then a team with skating power like the United States can do well when those without pucks move at an incredibly high speed.

At the beginning of the final set, the Finnish defender Atte Ohtama a hard open-ice tackle was checked on video, but the defender survived the situation with a two-minute obstruction penalty.

After a man-up, the USA took the lead on a Drew O’Connor strike. Alex Tuch shot a 3–1 goal past Emil Larmi and finished the final readings empty.

Finland’s tournament continues on Saturday against Germany from 20:20.