Junior Ice Hockey World Championship: Finland meets Canada in the final

Junior Ice Hockey World Championship: Finland meets Canada in the final

Finland emerged victorious from a goaltender’s duel in Edmonton on Friday, defeating Sweden 1-0 in the semifinals of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

• Also read: One win away from gold

This puts the Finns in the final alongside Canada, who did not play the Czech Republic earlier in the day. It is the first time in World Juniors history that these two nations will compete for gold, despite having both won three top honors since 2014.

In the duel of the day, the two masked men defended their cage brilliantly. Juha Jatkola stopped all of the Swedes’ 23 attempts, while Minnesota Wild’s Jesper Wallstedt flinched just once in 28 shots.

The hero of the game was defender Kasper Puutio, who was the only player to flash the red light in 60 minutes. On the power play, he snagged a pass from Aatu Raty before charging the Swedish defense from the outside. The Florida Panthers’ fifth-round pick ended his action by slipping the disc through Wallstedt’s pads.

At the end of midframe, Sweden had a golden chance to equalize but failed to capitalize on a double power play.

Puutio, along with forwards Roni Hirvonen and Roby Jarventie, were named the best Finnish players of the tournament after the game.

Wallstedt, defender Emil Andrae and center Ake Stakkestad received similar honors from the Swedes.

In addition, Montreal Canadiens Petteri Nurmi’s hope for this duel was left out, as was Winnipeg Jets first-round pick Brad Lambert.

The bronze medal game and final will be played at Rogers Place on Saturday.