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

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read