Kaapo Kakko scored the game-winning goal with 1:26 left in the third period to lift Finland to a 3-2 win over the United States to claim gold at the World Junior Championship on Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Blackhawks defenseman Henri Jokiharju fired a shot from the blue line and Kakko — a top prospect for this year’s NHL draft — collected the rebound and buried it for Finland to win its first World Juniors gold since 2016.
For the third time in the past six tournaments, Finland has won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships after beating the United States by a score of 3-2.— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) January 6, 2019
RECAP: https://t.co/S2ajup562V #WJC2019 pic.twitter.com/5rBQq1yLn4
Jokiharju had two goals and three assists in the tournament, while Blackhawks prospect Evan Barratt had one goal in his first World Juniors appearance for the United States.
The Americans thought they scored the first goal of the game when Oliver Wahlstrom (Islanders) roofed a rebound on a Ryan Poehling (Canadiens) into the net. However, Josh Norris (Senators) was in the crease, causing the goal to be waved off for a crease violation penalty.
First USA goal wiped off the board because of a crease violation pic.twitter.com/YLQ6u4mU8w— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 6, 2019
Jesse Ylonen (Canadiens) netted the first goal on a power play opportunity from a Barratt goaltender interference penalty, and Otto Latvala added another for a 2-0 Finland lead.
Jesse Ylonen (Canadiens) breaks the ice with a one-timer to put Finland up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/W0C9hD40Ai— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 6, 2019
The Americans roared back with third-period goals in a 1:46 span from Alexander Chmelevski (Sharks) and Norris.
Sasha Chmelevski (Sharks) gets one back for the United States pic.twitter.com/qkyoOoZjJL— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 6, 2019
Earlier in the day, Blackhawks forward prospect Philipp Kurashev and Switzerland fell 5-2 to Russia in the bronze-medal game. He led all Chicago players in the tournament in scoring with six goals and seven points. Kurashev was named to the tournament all-star team.