POPRAD, SLOVAKIA – Kristian Vesalainen closed out the preliminary round with a hat-trick to lead Finland over Canada 6-3 at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship.
Canada was outshot 34-20 as Teemu Engberg and defenceman Miro Heiskanen each had a goal and an assist for the Finns who used a three-goal second period to climb ahead for good.
MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs) led the way for Canada offensively with a goal and an assist while Jett Woo (Moose Jaw Warriors) and Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) also found the back of the net in the loss.
Entwistle led Canada in scoring through the four game preliminary schedule, recording three goals, three assists and six points.
Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors) and Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs) also earned assists while goaltenders Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) and Jake McGrath (Sudbury Wolves) shared the loss in goal, combining to make 28 saves.
Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm) earned Player of the Game honours for Canada.
Canada ends the preliminary round in second place in Group A with a 2-1-0-1 record, four points behind first place Finland who finished 4-0-0-0. Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Jocktan Chainey is tied for second in team scoring with four assists while Jared McIsaac has produced two assists. Goaltender Alex Gravel has served as the third string goalie and has yet to see action.
Canada now travels to Spisska Nova Ves for a Quarter-Final matchup against Sweden at 9:30am ET on Thursday.
Nico Hischier and Team Switzerland finished fourth in Group A following a 2-1 loss to host Slovakia on Tuesday and will have the difficult task of facing the undefeated Americans in Thursday’s Quarter-Final action at 1:30pm ET. Hischier leads the Swiss in scoring with five assists in the tournament.