Finland beats Switzerland to win bronze at 2021 women’s hockey worlds

Finland's Ella Viitasuo, centre left, celebrates her goal with teammates during second period bronze medal final IIHF Women's World Championship hockey action against Switzerland. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY — Finland won the bronze medal at the women’s world hockey championship with a 3-1 win Tuesday over Switzerland.

Tanja Niskanen, Ella Viitasuo and Petra Nieminen scored for the Finns.

Goaltender Anni Keisala made 18 saves for the win a day after stopping 30-of-33 shots in a 3-0 semifinal loss to the United States.

“I’m really proud how we played today and got this medal home,” captain Jenni Hiirikoski said.

Captain Lara Stalder scored for the Swiss at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre. Saskia Maurer stopped 29-of-32 shots in the loss.

After winning the bronze medal a dozen times in the championship, Finland took silver in 2019 for its best result.

The U.S. beat the host Finns in a controversial 2-1 shootout win in Espoo.

What appeared to be an overtime golden goal by Nieminen was waived off for goaltender interference, and the Americans went on to win a fifth straight gold.

A third of Finland’s roster changed over since then with eight new players in the lineup.

“I was surprised how well we actually played in the tournament,” Finland coach Pasi Mustonen said. “We had a rising trend all the way.

“What we lacked in this tournament was power-play goals. Otherwise, everything actually went according to our plan.”

The Finns scored four power-play goals on 26 chances for a 15.8 per cent success rate.

The Swiss, who fell 4-0 to Canada in a semifinal in Calgary, reached the final four for the third time. They won bronze in 2012 for their lone medal to date.

“We wanted to win a medal today,” Stalder said. “I thought the effort was there. It was a tight-fought game. and in the end we’ve got to score more to win.”

Switzerland was without top forward Aline Muller, who led the 2018 Olympic women’s hockey tournament in scoring with seven goals and three assists. She suffered a tournament-ending ankle injury in the tournament opener versus Russia.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.