December 31, 2016

HELSINKI (AP) Finland has changed its coach at the world junior hockey championship after Jukka Rautakorpi failed to take the team into the quarterfinals in Canada.

The Nordic country's under-20 team is bottom of Group A and will be relegated. The team will plays its final game Saturday against Switzerland in Toronto.

The Finnish Ice Hockey Association said Jussi Ahokas, the national under-18 coach, has taken over with immediate effect.

Rautakorpi had coached the team since the beginning of the season, with Finland losing its first three preliminary-round games.

The International Ice Hockey Federation said it will be the first time that a defending world junior champion will have to play in the relegation round.

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