Golden goal

Ka­pa­nen scores in OT for host Fin­land

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JOHN CHIDLEY-HILL

Kasperi Ka­pa­nen scored a wrap­around goal in over­time as Fin­land ral­lied past Rus­sia 4-3 on Tues­day to win the world ju­nior hockey cham­pi­onship.

Pa­trik Laine, Se­bas­tian Aho and cap­tain Mikko Ran­ta­nen all scored in the third pe­riod as Fin­land staged a late come­back. Kaapo Kahko­nen made 22 saves for the win.

An­drei Svet­lakov scored twice for Rus­sia, while Vladislav Kamenev had a goal as well. Alexan­der Georgiev stopped 25 shots.

Ka­pa­nen deked around two de­fend­ers, skated around the back of Rus­sia’s goal and threw the puck into a wide-open net as Georgiev failed to dive back into po­si­tion.

It was Fin­land’s fourth world ju­nior ti­tle and sec­ond in the past three years.

Georgiev’s start in net was a sur­prise af­ter Ilya Sam­sonov’s solid 26-save per­for­mance in Rus­sia’s 2-1 semi­fi­nal win over the United States. Ear­lier in the day, An­ders Bjork, Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Donato each scored two goals as the Amer­i­cans de­feated Swe­den 8-3 to win bronze.

Kamenev gave Rus­sia a 1-0 lead nearly five min­utes into the game, wiring a one-timer from the top of the face­off cir­cle past Kahko­nen. The power play had been set up af­ter an un­for­tu­nate mis­take by Kahko­nen, who earned a de­lay of game penalty when he put the puck over the boards.

The Rus­sians played con­ser­va­tively af­ter Kamenev’s goal, forc­ing Fin­land to work for any scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the first and sec­ond pe­riod.

Laine tied the game just 24 sec­onds into the third pe­riod. He took a drop pass from Aho be­fore snap­ping a wrist shot past Georgiev to put Fin­land on the board.

Svet­lakov re­sponded nearly a minute and a half later to give Rus­sia the lead again. He broke down the left wing be­fore throw­ing a fake and beat­ing Kahko­nen.

Aho tied it 2-2 mid­way through the pe­riod. He was un­marked to the left of Rus­sia’s crease when line­mate Jesse Pulju­jarvi sent a pass his way. Aho slapped the puck past a help­less Georgiev to the de­light of the home­town crowd.

Ran­ta­nen’s goal came on the power play as Rus­sia started to un­ravel. He tipped in a point shot from Vili Saar­i­jarvi, bring­ing the crowd to its feet.

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