“Shocking defeat for the lionesses,” reports the headline on the website of the Finnish TV station Yle. According to her, the Czechs were especially better at the beginning of the match. “But in the third period, the Finns showed their best performance. They leveled the match and were mainly driven by the second formation with a great performance. But extra time ended Czech celebrations,” writes Yle.
In connection with the elimination, it is understandably reminiscent of the media cases of the Suomi team, which could have had an influence on the premature end of the favorites in the tournament. It was star Susanna Tapani’s trip to a friend’s wedding instead of attending a group game against the USA. And the subsequent removal of goalkeeper Meeri Räisänen from the lineup after apparently lamenting on Twitter in connection with the Tapani case that she would also like to be at her father’s 60th birthday celebration.
Yle TV expert Ismo Lehkonen claims in his analysis that after the fiasco with the Czechs, the time has come for fundamental changes. “It’s good that this happened. Now the key people in our hockey have to sit down and make big and radical changes. Especially in the way of coaching,” said Lehkonen.
His fellow expert Minttu Tuominen emphasized that the Czechs have already caught up to Finland much more in game skills than the Suomi players got closer to the overseas teams. According to her, Czech women gained speed and individual skills at universities in the USA, where these aspects are emphasized.
The newspaper Iltalehti described the game for Finland as “A terrible disappointment.” Ilta Sanomat described it as a “Total collapse”.
The last-named newspaper named Anet Tejralová, the author of the winning goal in extra time, as the heroine of the match. “She sank Finland, which will go down in history. It is a victorious history for the Czech Republic,” writes Ilta Sanomat.
He also recalls that the Finnish national team came under unnecessary pressure due to the aforementioned affairs of Tapaniova and Räisänen: “And the whole story had a very ugly ending. The Finnish game didn’t work.”
“It is a shocking defeat for Finland, however, a large part of the credit must go to the opponents from the Czech Republic, who gave an absolutely brilliant performance. They were able to surprise the Finns with an active game,” writes the newspaper’s commentator Aki-Petteri Pulkkinen.
“But it is clear that, measured purely by the quality of the squad, Finland should have won. But captain Jenni Hiirikoski, who spent a lot of time on the ice in the quarterfinals, messed up the play, which ultimately decided the match,” he pulled out the key moment of the entire duel, after which the unhappy star Finek jumped to the ice and couldn’t help but cry.
“But looking at the tournament in a broader perspective, this total disaster is the perfect wake-up call for Finnish women’s hockey, which has been trying to close the gap between itself and the North American teams. Both on and off the ice. This fiasco has shown that the steps taken towards this goal are extremely small,” the commentator added.