World Juniors: Finland edges Latvia, 2-1, in first game of relegation series

AP

The defending gold medalists at the World Juniors got a big win today over Latvia.

But it wasn’t for a medal. It was to avoid relegation. Finland won the game, 2-1, while outshooting their opponents by a wide margin, 45-24.

The Finns still have to beat the Latvians once more in the best-of-three series, which continues tomorrow in Montreal. Game three, if necessary, is scheduled for Thursday at Bell Centre.

The loser of the series is relegated to Division I Group A, where next year it will battle the likes of Germany, France, and Kazakhstan.

Today’s game was tied 1-1 before 17-year-old forward Kristian Vesalainen scored nine minutes into the third period.

Related: Finland fires coach Rautakorpi after letdown at World Juniors

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