Finland bests Switzerland to claim bronze at women's hockey worlds

Finland won the bronze medal at the women's world hockey championship with a 3-1 win Tuesday over Switzerland in Calgary.

Tanja Niskanen, Ella Viitasuo and Petra Nieminen all scored in the 3-1 victory

Finland's Ella Viitasuo, centre-left, celebrates her goal with teammates during the second period of Finland's 3-1 bronze medal win over Switzerland at the IIHF women's world championship on Tuesday in Calgary. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

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.

'We had a rising trend all the way'

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 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 Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

In the fifth-place game, the ROC defeated Japan 2-0.

With files from CBC Sports

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