Canadian players celebrate their team-record sixth victory in a row
Wroclaw, Poland, September 11, 2014 – Canada extended their winning streak to a team-record six matches after outdueling Finland in straight sets (27-25, 27-25, 25-19) in Pool F of the FIVB Men’s World Championship at Centennial Hall of Wroclaw on Thursday.
The Canadians increased their accumulated tally to 10 points while Finland are stationed at two points.
•It was the 75th match of Canada at the world championships. They have won 31
•Finland had won their only previous meeting in 1978
• First time Canada score back-to-back wins against European teams
Gavin Schmitt was the main offensive force for Canada with 21 points while John Gordon Perrin and Nicholas Hoag added 11 and 9 points, respectively. Olli Kunnari had 12 for the Finns, followed by Matti Oivanen with 11, including six blocks.
At the beginning of the match, Finland’s team were keeping close to the Canadians, so that the scoreboard showed a tied result. Thanks to precise Matti Oivanen’s kills, the Finns even managed to take a one-point lead, however the North American side’s blocks and spikes gave them an 8-6 advantage at the first technical time-out. The situation changed following the break, when Canada made some simple errors and the focused Scandinavians were spiking effectively. They scored three points in a row so that they led 13-10. Still, Canada did not want to give up so easily. With fantastic Nicholas Hoag’s kills and John Gordon Perrin’s ace, they caught up the opponents. In the decisive moment, both the teams were highly mobilized, so that the result was 24-24. The Finns were receiving every ball with an astonishing devotion, while Canadian player Gavin Schmitt was producing promising kills. He also gave his team a victory 27-25 in the first set.
In the next part, Schmitt was producing again powerful spikes that were the reason of the Canadians 8-6 lead. Head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo’s team were looking for their chance in fantastic double blocks by the likes of Antti Siltala and Matti Oivanen and in Urpo Sivula’s kills. They took a lead 11-10 following Olli Kunnari’s ace. Thanks to Sivula’s spike, Finland scored another point ahead the Canadians, so that they got off the court for the second technical time-out with 16-14 lead. The world No. 26 ranked side did not manage to keep the margin as head coach Glenn Hoag’s time-outs clearly motivated his team. Canada made use of the third set-point and won 27-25, as Schmitt effectively spiked.
Canada quickly jumped out to lead 5-2 in the third set as Schmitt was still unstoppable for Finnish defence. The Finns tried to stop the Canadians spikes with Sivula, Kunnari and Jukka Lehtonen’s triple block, however for the first technical break, the world No. 15 ranked team had 8-4 lead. With every single move, Schmitt was oppressing the Scandinavians as they had no idea how to stop his spectacular spikes. Finland’s team tried to surprise the opponents with the kills by the likes of Mikko Oivanen but with the result 16-9 it was sure that nothing can stop Canada. They gained points in every element of the game, so that completely relaxed Perrin spiked for the result 25-19 in the last set.