MacKinnon, Canada Lose to Finland in Quarterfinals
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon's IIHF World Championship came to an end on Thursday as Canada lost 3-2 to Finland in the quarterfinals at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus.
This marks the fifth straight year that Canada has lost in the quarterfinals. The Canadians last medal at the IIHF World Championship came in 2009, as they earned the silver after losing to Russia in the championship final.
Nathan MacKinnon during a 2014 IIHF World Championship game in Minsk, Belarus with Team Canada (Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images).
Canada won gold at the Sochi Olympics last February and was bidding to become the second team, following Sweden in 2006, to capture gold in the Olympics and the world championship in the same year.
Things were looking good for Team Canada as it held a 2-1 lead from goals by Kyle Turris and Mark Scheifele in the second period, but Finland quickly turned the game back in its favor early in the third.
Juuso Hietanen scored just 28 seconds into the final stanza to tie the contest at 2-2, and Iiro Pakarinen scored the game-winner for Finland after receiving a pass from Jori Lehtera in the slot during an odd-man rush and firing a shot far-side with 3:08 left.
"For the most part I thought our team played well," Canada head coach Dave Tippett said. "We controlled long portions of the game. We made a couple of mistakes that cost us the game. Our goal was to get better every day. That was probably the best game we've played here."
Canada had won six games in a row and its group prior to Thursday's loss, its second at the tournament. Canada's only other defeat came in a shootout to France in its opening game in the preliminary round.
MacKinnon had one shot in 17:32 of ice time for Canada in the semifinals. He finished his first world championship tournament with four points (one goal and three assists), eight penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating.
The 2014 IIHF World Championship was MacKinnon's fourth career international playing experience, as he had previously participated at the 2013 World Junior Championship, and the 2011 and 2012 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Joining MacKinnon at this year's tournament from the Colorado Avalanche roster was goaltender Reto Berra for Switzerland. Berra played in all seven games for the Swiss, who were unable to advance out of group play with a 3-3-1 record.