Team Canada frustrated with controversial calls in gold medal game

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Team Canada captain Thomas Chabot watched from the penalty box as Finland won the gold medal in overtime in the world hockey championship. (Getty Images)
Team Canada captain Thomas Chabot watched from the penalty box as Finland won the gold medal in overtime in the world hockey championship. (Getty Images)

Nobody likes to lose, but for Team Canada and its fans, this afternoon’s overtime loss to Team Finland in the IIHF World Hockey Championship was more bitter than usual.

Players and fans alike expressed immense frustration with the referees in Sunday’s matinee matchup, especially surrounding the controversial powerplay that led to Finland’s overtime winner.

With Canada carrying all the momentum heading into the extra frame, Ottawa Senators defenceman Thomas Chabot was called for hooking on Finnish forward Hannes Björninen 5:36 into OT on a questionable call.

That penalty would ultimately allow Finland’s Sakari Manninen to put home the golden goal 6:42 into the extra frame, securing the Finns' second gold medal against Canada in three tournaments dating back to 2019.

Among the players that voiced frustration was Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, who finished tied for the tournament lead in goals with seven.

“You work so hard and for it to be decided like that it sucks,” he candidly told TSN post-game. “When you come to these tournaments it’s different rules, but at some point, you don’t even know the rulebook anymore.”

Chabot, similarly, shared his disappointment post-game with the way things ended, noting that he felt Björninen had dived, even if he had put his stick in a poor position.

Canadians across the country also took to social media to share their dismay with the call and the ensuing game-winning goal.

That wasn’t the only tough call the Canadians had to battle through. Leading 1-0 early in the third, a Blue Jacket’s forward Cole Sillinger was called for a phantom high sticking call with Canada already down a man.

That goal ultimately swayed momentum in Finland’s favour, allowing them back into the game and eventually ballooning to a 3-1 lead. Canada valiantly fought back with a pair of late goals to force overtime, but the boys in Red and White sadly failed to notch that elusive final goal.

Canada’s silver medal showing is the country’s 16th such finish all time, including three such finishes in the last five tournaments. Team Czechia walked away with the Bronze, thumping team USA 8-4 in the Bronze medal game earlier on Sunday.

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