The French ice hockey team conceded a third straight defeat at the Finnish World Cup, losing 5-3 to the host country, the reigning world champion. The Blues are fifth in Group A and will not play again until Saturday.
Of course, the Blues were not counting on a victory against the Finnish world champions, who play at home, in their maintenance operation in the world group. But after the first three days of this world championship, they had the same number of points as the Finns, so why not? Unfortunately for Philippe Bozon’s men, the logic was respected, with a 5-3 victory for the reigning world champions.
Like Tuesday against Hungary (defeat in overtime), Yet it was France who opened the scoring, through Florian Chakiachvili from the 65th second on a shot from a tight angle. But hope proved short-lived, as Harri Pesonen equalized three and a half minutes later. The Finns took the lead in the 24th minute through Ahti Oksanen, and Justin Addamo put France back up (2-2) five minutes later, full axis, between the goalkeeper’s legs. However, the world champions took a good advantage thanks to Marko Anttila (32nd) then Teemu Hartikainen (46th). Charles Bertrand gave hope to the Blues in the 50th (4-3), but Sakari Manninen sealed the Finnish victory with 1’02 remaining. A logical success, the locals having shot 32 times on goal, against 22 for the French.
The Blues remain on track to maintain
Following this third defeat in a row, France now occupy fifth place in Group A with four points. The Blues are still on track to maintain, with four points ahead of the red lantern, Germany, which however has one game less. A qualification for the quarters would however be a miracle, with now three points behind the Top 4 and a match to come on Saturday against Sweden, who won their first three meetings. Then it will be the turn of the formidable Americans, before concluding this group stage against the Germans.