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/OHL) led the way for Canada offensively with a goal and an assist while Jett Woo (Moose Jaw Warriors/WHL) and Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals/OHL) also found the back of the net in the loss.
Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors/WHL) and Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs/OHL) also earned assists while goaltenders Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders/WHL) and Jake McGrath (Sudbury Wolves/OHL) shared the loss in goal, combining to make 28 saves.
Canada ends the preliminary round in second place in Group A with a 3-1-0 record, four points behind first place Finland who finished 4-0-0-0.
Entwistle led Canada in scoring through the four game preliminary schedule, recording three goals, three assists and six points.
Canada now travels to Spisska Nova Ves for a Quarter-Final matchup against the third place team in Group B on Thursday. The team will face Sweden in the quarter-finals.