Finland’s Urho Vaakanainen (7) shoves United States’ Oliver Wahlstrom (18) during second period gold medal IIHF world junior hockey championship action in Vancouver, on Saturday January 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Finland captures world juniors gold with dramatic 3-2 win over U.S.

Kaapo Kakko nets game-winner

VANCOUVER — Finland is taking home gold from this year’s world junior hockey championship after beating the United States 3-2 in a dramatic final on Saturday.

Seventeen-year-old Kaapo Kakko scored the game-winner with just over a minute-and-a-half to go in the third period.

The Americans had clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit in the third period with goals from Josh Norris and Alexander Chmelevski.

Jesse Ylonen and Otto Latvala also scored for Finland.

Cayden Primeau stopped 28-of-31 for the U.S., as Finnish netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 25 saves.

Finland started the scoring, putting away a power-play goal 11:31 into the second period after U.S. forward Evan Barratt was called for goalie interference.

The Finns won a faceoff and got the puck to Ylonen, who wound up and blew a rocket past Primeau.

The Montreal Canadiens prospect had three goals and three assists in the tournament.

Latvala padded his team’s lead six minutes into the third period, using a series of screens to block Primeau’s view of his high shot.

The Americans responded 61 seconds later when Chmelevski took a shot from down near the Finnish goal line that found its way through traffic into the net.

The San Jose Sharks prospect also helped tie the game up 8:47 into the frame, dishing a pass across the ice to Norris, who put the puck past Luukkonen to make it 2-2.

The Americans also had a flurry of power-play chances throughout the game, and thought they had scored on one only to have it overturned by video review.

Oliver Wahlstrom put back a rebound, but officials determined it was a no goal because Chmelevski was in the crease.

The U.S. finished 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

RELATED: Heartbreak at home as Canada ousted 2-1 in OT by Finland

Earlier in the day, Russia beat Switzerland 5-2 to capture bronze.

Canada finished sixth after losing to Finland in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Finland posted a convincing 6-1 win over Switzerland in the semifinals. But the team’s performance was lacklustre through the group phase of this year’s tournament, with victories over Slovakia and Russia and losses to Sweden and the U.S.

The Americans lost a single game in the round-robin, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to Sweden on Dec. 29.

They punched their ticket to the finals by beating the Czechs 3-1 on Wednesday, then downing the Russians 2-1 on Friday.

Next year’s tournament will be held in the Czech Republic.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

United States’ Evan Barratt tries to get a shot on Finland goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen during second period IIHF world junior hockey final action in Vancouver, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Just Posted

Writer helps Vernon residents pen their memoirs

Free workshop at Caetani Cultural Centre with Janelle Hardy

AIM Roads to focus on clearing compact snow and slush, enable roads to drain

Snow accumulation exceeds 10-year records in Malakwa, Enderby, Squilax

Vernon courthouse repairs in design phase: ministry

Base building maintenance work and energy studies for the building underway

Sovereign seeks 250 volunteers for ski nationals

Estimated 800 athletes, coaches and support expected for March 25-April 2 event

Rare leucistic hawk captured by Vernon photographer

Carla Hunt is now hoping she can catch photos of the bird in flight

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read