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World Juniors daily recap: Like fish in a barrel

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Victory lap: commence.

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Throughout the World Juniors tournament, we’ll be keeping track of all the action and bringing you all of the results in one place.

Bronze medal: Finland vs. Russia

It’s the end of the line folks! The end of the World Junior tournament is here, and last night the medals were awarded. We kicked things off with the bronze medal game between Finland and Russia and man was this an interesting one. Russia came out with the early jump in this one, picking up an edge in possession and also the first lead of the game, with a goal from Ilya Safonov just over six minutes into the game. And this felt pretty huge—it goes without saying that goals are important, but on paper this one had the makings of being a tight game, and an early lead for Russia made things feel promising.

But Finland didn’t get flustered, and as had seemed to be their model all tournament, they just kept their heads down and kept up the good work, chipping away at Russia’s momentum until they were able to pull themselves fully back into the mix. After successfully killing a high-sticking penalty taken just 15 seconds into the second period, they kept their own momentum rolling and were able to get on the board with a goal from Anton Lundell just after the five minute mark. And we had a game again!

Finland pulled into the lead just 1:13 into the third period with a goal from Mikko Petman, and they were able to keep things rolling from there. They had grabbed an edge in possession and seemed to have Russia on their heels a bit as they were trying to mount their comeback. Taking a high-sticking double minor inside the last seven minutes of play wasn’t really doing them any favors either. And while Russia managed to kill that off, they just weren’t able to pull themselves back into this one—they seemed pretty sure that they had scored once with the goalie pulled, but it wasn’t so, and in the end it was not one but two empty net goals (a second for Lundell and one for Juuso Parssinen) to seal the win for Finland.

Final: Finland 4 - Russia 1

Gold medal: Canada vs. USA

The bronze medal game was already a wild one, and the gold medal game had all the making to get even wilder. Two fast teams with a whole lot of firepower? Buckle up, folks.

This one certainly got off to an interesting start for the US at least, who seemed to be a little off in the first few minutes, making some poor plays with the puck and just really making life more difficult for themselves. But after the first five minutes or so, things started settling down and the US was able to stabilize their game and really get to work. That work pretty quickly paid off for them, too, as they got a bit of a cycle going with some sustained offensive zone time, and Alex Turcotte was able to get them on the board. Canada got back some of their momentum at the end of the period though, looking close to lethal on a power play chance but just failing to close on any of their chances. They certainly weren’t out of the mix.

The second period hit and some of us, understandably, were a little worried. Canada had been surging at the end of the period, and surely they were going to come out after the intermission with some adjustments, not going to go away quietly. But instead of them striking back, the US extended their lead in short order—just 32 seconds into the period, after a failed clearing attempt by Canada, Trevor Zegras was able to pick up the puck behind the net and just sort of tuck it past Devon Levi. The US had a relatively comfortable lead, but their night was far from over. Canada worked at building back their momentum, but at first they just weren’t really getting the types of chances they were looking for. Then, by the third period, they were really taking it to the US, outshooting them 15-1, but Spencer Knight was absolutely standing on his head, and Canada couldn’t find a way to beat him. Even with a couple of looks late in the third with their goalie pulled, Canada came up empty. And just like that, the US pulled off the upset. World Junior champs, baby!

Final: USA 2 - Canada 0