After a pretty one sided bronze medal game, Russia and Finland made the final day of the 2016 World Juniors an exciting one. After knocking off the Canadians, Finland looked to complete their journey with Gold. The Russians held the United States to just one goal Monday afternoon but it wouldn’t be that way on Tuesday. Finland would capture the Gold Medal as the host of the 2016 World Juniors.
Finland Captures World Juniors Gold Medal
The game began with an early Finland delay of game penalty. The Russians made the Finns pay with a power play goal by Vladislav Kamenev. The Russians would take the 1-0 lead into the locker room after killing off a late hooking penalty to Artur Lauta.
The second period went by with the Russians taking two penalties and Finland unable to capitalize on either of them. The Fins were able to set up their power play and control the play the entire period but Georgiev and the Russian penalty kill were able to keep the puck out of the net and hold on to the 1-0 lead for two periods.
The third period is where the fun began for both teams. Finland came out flying in the final period and quickly equalized. Patrik Laine picked up the first goal for Finland and immediately after the Russians took the lead again as Andrei Svetlakov walked down the side boards and put a shot over the shoulder of Kahkonen, just like that it was 2-1.
From then on it was all Finland. Just a few seconds past halfway through the final period, Jesse Puljujarvi made a cross-crease pass to Sebastian Aho. Aho buried the pass and the roof of Hartwall arena practically blew off. After the Finland go-ahead goal, the Russian tempers started to flare. They took two back to back penalties and on the second penalty Vili Saarijarvi sent a puck at the net from the point, it hit Mikko Rantanen and Finland took the 3-2 lead.
The game seemed like it was over after the Finland goal. Vladislav Kamenev received a ten-minute major and a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct but luckily it didn’t put the Russians on the penalty kill. The Russians pulled their goalie late and with 6.9 seconds remaining, Ivan Provorov walked across the top of the zone and sent a puck towards the net. The puck would hit Andrei Svetlakov and find the back of the net to tie the game late.
The third period was by far one of the most exciting periods of hockey throughout the entire tournament. The World Juniors seems to always have last second goals to force overtime. Overtime began and quickly ended when Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Kasperi Kapanen pulled a wrap-around on Georgiev and won the tournament for the Finns with a golden goal.
This is the second year in a row that the host team has won the tournament and also the second year in a row that the Russians have been defeated in the final. The podium spots went to the United States (Bronze), Russia (Silver) and Finland (Gold).