USA vs Finland Live : score, updates, highlights from 2019 World Juniors gold-medal game.Fifteen years ago today, on a rink in Helsinki, USA Hockey broke through and came from behind to defeat Canada 4-3 for the country’s first-ever World Juniors gold medal. Saturday, the Americans, on a rink in Canada, take on Finland with an opportunity to win the fifth gold medal in the program’s history.
== MATCH INFO ==
World Junior 2019
Team : Finland vs USA
Date : Saturday, January 5, 2019
Start Time : 08:00 Pm ET
USA vs Finland Live
In the semifinals, the United States defeated Russia 2-1 and Finland beat Switzerland 6-1.These same two teams met on New Year’s Eve with the Americans winning 4-1 behind two goals by Vancouver prospect Tyler Madden. Cayden Primeau, who gets the nod Saturday, made 27 saves in the previous matchup, allowing one goal late in the third period.
Entering Saturday, Team USA has the top power play and top penalty kill in the tournament. In 22 power play opportunities, the Americans have scored seven goals (31.8 percent efficiency). On the penalty kill, it has only allowed one power play goal against in 13 times shorthanded (92.3 percent). The team with the top power play has won the last four gold medals
But don’t brush aside Finland. While the semifinal was a walk-over, this team did defeat Canada 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals — in Canada.
The Finns definitely have the ability to light the lamp — led by Eeli Tolvanen, who spent four games with the Nashville Predators this season and has 12 points in 24 games with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL). In his third World Juniors, he only has four assists and is on the cusp of breaking out. The U.S. will also have to keep an eye on Aleksi Heponiemi, who has three goals and five assists, and captain Aarne Talvitie, who plays at Penn State and has seven points (four goals, three assists) in six games.
On the blueline they are led by Henri Jokiharju, who played in 32 games for the Chicago Blackhawks before the tournament, and Urho Vaakanainen, who got a cup of coffee with the Boston Bruins. Jokiharju has two goals and two assists in the tournament, while Vaakanainen has four assists.
All-time against Finland, USA Hockey is 13-16-1-3-0 (W-L-T-OTW-OTL); however, this is the first-ever gold medal matchup between the two countries. They have previously faced off in the bronze medal game, with Finland winning both times (2003, 2006). The Americans last won gold in 2017, while Finland won the year prior.
Nine U.S. players have played Finland in a gold-medal game before, when they defeated the Finns in 2017 at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Six players won silver in 2018 against Finland.