Finland to meet Russia in gold-medal game at World Juniors

AP
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It’ll be Finland versus Russia Tuesday in the gold-medal game of the 2016 World Juniors in Helsinki.

The host Finns beat Sweden, 2-1, today in the semifinals; the Russians took out the United States by the same 2-1 score.

From the IIHF:

The Americans will seek consolation in the bronze medal game versus Sweden. They have won bronze four times before (1986, 1992, 2007, 2011). It’s a disappointing outcome for a squad loaded with NHL-drafted talent.

The U.S. has now lost five straight World Junior games to Russia, including its last two quarter-finals in 2014 and 2015. More shockingly, it has never won a medal round game against Russia since the IIHF began using the playoff system in 1996.

Christian Dvorak scored for the Americans, who are out of the running for their first gold medal since the 2013 World Juniors in Ufa, Russia.

Meanwhile, it’s been a dream tournament so far for the Finns. Not only did they defeat¬†their rivals from Sweden, they took out the pre-tournament favorites from Canada in the quarterfinals.

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Of note, four of the five leading scorers at this year’s tourney — Puljujarvi, Matthews, Laine, and Nylander — are eligible for the 2016 NHL draft. (Aho is a Carolina Hurricanes draft pick.)

The leading scorer among defenseman, Juolevi, is also draft-eligible this year.