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

Port Alberni’s Kari Trott set to shine at Canada Winter Games

Trott is one of two Special Olympics BC figure skaters invited to the national event

BCHL: Bulldogs’ Hawthorne commits to NCAA Wildcats

20-year-old goaltender earns scholarship to play Div. 1 hockey next year

Port Alberni realtor trekking the Sahara Desert in support of ACAWS

Chris Fenton of The Fenton Team will spend five days hiking in the Sahara Desert

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Port Alberni bear spraying suspect arrested in Coombs

Nanaimo resident facing 16 criminal charges after “well coordinated” RCMP effort

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read