Finns topple Swiss, will play for gold

Finns topple Swiss, will play for gold

Steven Ellis05 Jan 2019Steven Ellis»
 

Finland will play for their look to win gold at the World Juniors in Canada for the first time ever after beating Switzerland by a score of 6-1 in Vancouver on Friday, placing them in the gold medal game on Saturday.

 
 
 
 

Finland will play for their look to win gold at the World Juniors in Canada for the first time ever after beating Switzerland by a score of 6-1 in Vancouver on Friday, placing them in the gold medal game on Saturday.

The Finns will play the United States at 8:00 PM ET, with the winner of the game taking their fifth gold medal game to put them in third place in tournament championships behind Canada (17) and Russia/Soviet Union (13). The Swiss will look to steal a win away from a disappointed Russian team, who, at times, looked worse than Switzerland in an eventual 7-4 victory for the team that finished first place in Group A.

The pesky Swiss team that gave teams a run for their money up to the semifinals started off very poorly, allowing four goals in just over seven minutes of play. Just 40 seconds in, Jesse Ylonen got the ball rolling after Santeri Virtanen skated around the net and sent the puck out from, with Ylonen firing a quick shot past Luca Hollenstein to make it 1-0.

Then, at 2:35, the Finns scored again. This time, Aarne Talvitie would get his third of the tournament when Rasmus Kupari brought the puck down the ice and made the partial drop pass to Talvitie, with the New Jersey Devils prospect sending the puck blocker side on Hollenstein to double Finland’s advantage,

Three minutes later, Talvitie added to his totals. Kupari would once again create a scoring chance, with Talvitie coming in for the rebound after entering as the trailing forward, making it 3-0 for the Finns.

On Finland’s eighth shot of the game, the team managed to chase Hollenstein after scoring their fourth goal. Henrik Jokiharju would give the Finns the 4-0 advantage after his shot cleanly beat Hollenstein from the point, with Anton Lundell providing the screen in front to add to the Finnish advantage.

But Philipp Kurashev would end Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s shutout with four minutes to go in the opening frame. After working hard around the net, the Chicago Blackhawks prospect was rewarded after getting his own rebound and throwing it over Luukkonen, putting the Swiss on the board.

That didn’t really change the course of their fate, however. At 7:56 in the second period, Aleksi Heponiemi would benefit from a great rush by Eeli Tolvanen, who took the puck from his own zone and got the puck on net before Heponiemi scored the rebound. He'd then get his fourth point of the night after getting the puck to Kappo Kakko on the doorstep, with Kakko passing the puck to Kupari to the right of the net to finish off the play to make it 6-1 for the Finns at 14:57, the final goal of the game.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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