Finns had great beginning of tournament and won all three games in a group. One of most serious aspirants for title finally finished at fourth place without trophy. Disappointed in Finnish team was clear and visible. On the other hand, young players have new experience for their future career.
Finland was in two-goals lead and lost the game in last period. That´s hurt young Finnish players, who were fighting for third place. Disappointment and sadness in post match mix-zone were visible. “I really don´t know, how to explain it everything. We played good first period, next two periods were bad and we lost the lead… what to say, it´s big disappointment for us,” evaluated captain Juuso Valimaki. He scored the second Finnish goal and played a good game, what mentioned also the coach Ahokas. However, fourth place isn´t enough for talented Finnish defender. “We played good three games in a group. We didn´t pass through two more important matches in play-offs. We didn´t get medal and I´m not happy,” said Valimaki. Young players are still improving their playing, mental and physical strengths. At least, Finns know, what they need to improve and have good experience. “There are also some positives. We scored pretty much goals and I am persuaded, that we have a good team with great team spirit. It´s also an experience, World championships is in April and now it´s August, so we can learn from our mistakes,” finished Finnish captain.
Coach Jussi Ahokas also wasn´t in his usual good mood. Finland had good potential to get one of medals, now they´re going home with empty hands. “We started semifinal and third place games really well. Our biggest problem in play-off was small efficiency of using chances, which we created. In third place game, we came little bit easy, let Russia involved to the game and top class teams capitalize your mistakes. Russian did it and won this match,” evaluated Finnish coach. He sees also the other side of unsuccessful play-off of Finland. “We have to learn from these kind of situations. It´s learning process, we are now working on preparation for World championships in this age category. We need to get our heads up and keep going,” looked coach of Finland to the future. “Suomi” left good impression in Bratislava, they also took the support of audience. They played attractive hockey, but didn´t succeed in decisive games. “I don´t want to look back to games in a group. What´s matter, are results in the most important games, so in the play-offs. We started very well and end up badly,” finished Ahokas with his own overall feeling of tournament.