Finland clinches home ice in quarters
COLOGNE, Germany -- Miikka Kiprusoff earned his second straight shutout as Finland blanked Germany 3-0 Thursday night in the World Cup of Hockey, clinching home-ice advantage in the quarterfinals next week.
2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS GM W L T SV% GAA 39 24 10 4 .933 1.70
Kimmo Timonen of the Nashville Predators, Teemu Selanne of the Colorado Avalanche and Jere Lehtinen of the Dallas Stars scored for Finland, which shut out the Czech Republic 4-0 Monday night in Helsinki.
The Finns now return to their capital to meet archrival Sweden on Saturday. Sweden also is 2-0 in the European pool and gained home-ice advantage in the quarters after back-to-back wins over Germany (5-2) and the Czechs (4-3) in Stockholm.
Germany travels to Prague to meet the Czechs on Friday in a game between two winless teams. In the quarterfinals, the group winner meets the No. 4 team, and the runner-up plays the No. 3 team.
Timonen scored the opening goal midway in the first period with Finland on the power play before a crowd of 12,975. Selanne, who got an assist on the goal, put in his first midway in the second period when the Finns had a two-man advantage for 28 seconds. Selanne one-timed a slap shot from the left circle.
The Germans, who played much better in the second period, had an excellent chance to get back into the game with a two-man advantage for two minutes later in the period. But Kiprusoff, who backstopped Calgary to the Stanley Cup finals last season, was never seriously challenged.
Instead, Mikko Eloranta -- one of only two players from the Finnish League -- wasted a golden chance to make it 3-0 after the Finns killed the penalties. Leaving the penalty box, he took a mid-ice pass and skated in on a breakaway. But Kolzig made a brilliant pad save.
Lehtinen made it 3-0 with 4:22 remaining, roofing a backhander from the slot past a screened Kolzig.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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