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

 

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

Fernie skier braves extremes to find ‘soul line’

Caleb Brown named male champion at backcountry ski competition

Avalanche warning issued for Lizard Range, Flathead near Fernie

Warmer weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

Replacement school for Fernie imminent: SD5

School district board chair confident capital funding to follow maintenance project announcement

Teck to address air emission issues at Sparwood mine

Poorly performing dust collection system blamed for exceedances at Elkview Operations

WorkSafeBC close to completing ammonia inspections after Fernie arena tragedy

Statutory agency inspects ammonia-based fish processing facilities, follows up outstanding orders

B.C. resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Elkford woman wins national curling award

Terry Vandale hailed as a champion of curling; credited with making the sport more accessible

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

Most Read