Finland began the 2014 World Junior Championship tournament with a solid win over Norway on Friday, defeating that country 5-1. But their usual nemesis, Sweden, defeated Finland on the third day of the tournament, taking a 4-2 decision from the Finns.
The Finns are icing a more inexperienced squad at this year's WJC than was the case last year in Russia, but there is still a few players from last year's club competing at this tournament in Malmo, Sweden. One of those returning players is defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, a Buffalo Sabres prospect who is currently on loan to Finland from the AHL's Rochester Americans.
Ristolainen is appearing in his third U-20 WJC, and he comes to this year's tourney with some professional experience under his belt. The Turku native suited up with the Sabres for 19 games, notching his first (and only to this point) NHL goal during that stint. After the organizational shake-up in Buffalo, Ristolainen was sent down to the Americans, where he has scored two goals and added two assists in five games.
The 6'3”, 207-pound Ristolainen has picked up one point so far in this tournament, a goal against arch-rival Sweden.
Ristolainen spoke with Hockey's Future following the win over Norway, with those comments being captured in this HF video.
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