Who's next in net?

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic -- About that plan to keep the same goalie through the playoff round at the World Junior Championship.

Team Canada head coach Craig Hartsburg was rethinking it after yesterday's 4-2, quarter final victory over Finland.

The reason: two shaky goals against Steve Mason, making the Canadians sweat a little more than they should have.

"We'll evaluate everything again," Hartsburg said. "We'll go through it all. It was a hard game. There wasn't a lot of action for him, at times. It'll be a lot harder game against the U.S. I'm not ruling out anything."

Hartsburg had said he wanted to settle on a No. 1 goalie, after flip-flopping between Mason and Jonathan Bernier through the preliminary games.

In other words, it was Mason's job to lose -- which is exactly what he might have done.

The game's first goal was a weak floater from the blue-line by Juuso Puustinen, a shot Mason says clipped his defenceman and changed direction.

"It was tough to take," Mason said, acknowledging he had some early butterflies. "But I let it go."

At least until Jan-Mikael Juutilainen banked one in off his leg from behind the goal-line early in the third. That made it 2-2, and brought back memories of a similar goal Bernier gave up in a third-period collapse against Sweden, four days earlier.

"When that thing went in, my heart sank," Mason said. "It was tough to swallow. It was like, 'You've got to be kidding me -- this can't be happening.'"

A few thousand Canadian fans must have wondered if they'd come all this way for nothing.

"I'm sure a lot of fans were thinking, 'Oh, no -- the Sweden game,'" defenceman Drew Doughty said. "We made sure that wasn't going to happen again."

This time, the floodgates closed, Brad Marchand's goal less than five minutes later restoring order to the hockey universe.

But it's obvious this Canadian team and all its lack of polish around the net is destined to do things the hard way.

JITTERS

"I don't know (why)," said Doughty, who set up Steve Stamkos's early third-period goal. "Maybe it's just the Canadian style."

Hartsburg is hoping his team got the sudden-death jitters out of its system, and will be looser against the U.S. in tomorrow's semi-final.

"They've faced it once, now," the coach said. "There's a lot of young kids that haven't been through this."

One of the youngest, John Tavares, continues to be one of the best.

The 17-year-old scored his team-leading fourth of the tournament, on a power play, to erase Finland's 1-0 lead in the second period. He also threw his weight around.

Several players say the win takes some of the weight off their shoulders going into the semifinal.

"We're a little bit of underdogs coming in, and that's fine with us," Stamkos said. "Coach Hartsburg said we're going to go in there and have that mentality. None of the pressure's on us. They're the team that's undefeated so far."

Whatever works for you.

Now, about that goaltender ...


Videos

Photos