Finland defeats Russia in OT for World Junior gold
Maple Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen scored off a wraparound 1:33 into
overtime to give Finland a 4-3 victory against Russia in the gold-medal
game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship at Hartwall Arena in
Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday.
Kapanen, the 22nd pick in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins
and traded to the Maple Leafs on July 1, 2015, took a pass from Aleksi
Saarela (New York Rangers) and beat Russian defenseman Sergei Boikov
(Colorado Avalanche) in the right circle before curling the cage and
tucking the puck just inside the left post for his second goal of the
The victory gives Finland its second gold medal in three years. Russia,
which medaled for the sixth straight year, won a second straight silver
Russia tied the game with six seconds remaining in the third and their
goaltender pulled for an extra attacker when Andrei Svetlakov scored
his second of the game. Defenseman Ivan Provorov (Philadelphia Flyers)
took a shot from the point that ricocheted off the shin of Svetlakov
into the net.
Finland captain Mikko Rantanen scored a power-play goal off a
deflection with 2:09 remaining in the third period to give his country
a 3-2 lead and send the hometown faithful into a frenzy. Russian
captain Vladislav Kamenev was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty
after the goal.
The teams combined for five goals in the third, which began with Russia holding a 1-0 lead.
Laine, an A-rated skater on NHL Central scouting's November players to
watch list for the 2016 NHL Draft, scored his seventh goal of the
tournament just 24 seconds into the third to give Finland a 1-1 tie.
Svetlakov, a C-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's November players
to watch list, scored his first of the game 1:41 into the third to give
Russia a 2-1 lead.
Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes) scored 10:07 into the third to pull Finland into a 2-2 tie.
The top offensive unit in the tournament, consisting of Aho (Carolina
Hurricanes) with Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine, combined for two
goals and six points against Russia.
Russia goaltender Alexander Georgiev, who had a shutout entering the
third period with 18 saves, finished with 25 saves. Finland goaltender
Kaapo Kahkonen (Minnesota Wild) made 22 saves.
Kamenev scored a power-play goal 4:50 into the first to give his country a 1-0 lead. It was his fifth goal of the tournament.
Russia coach Valeri Bragin decided to start Georgiev despite the fact
Ilya Samsonov (Washington Capitals) made 26 saves in a 2-1 win against
the United States in the semifinal round Monday.