2014 WJC Video: Rasmus Ristolainen, Finland

By Chapin Landvogt

Rasmus Ristolainen - Team Finland

Photo: Finland defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen celebrates with the Championship Trophy at the 2014 World Junior Championship after he scored the gold medal-winning goal in overtime to defeat Sweden, 3-2 (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

It was a nearly identical gold medal-winning goal as the one scored two years by Mika Zibanejad, only this time, Sweden was on the receiving end. Finland defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen grabbed the puck along the boards and powered his way to the front of Sweden's net to beat Oscar Dansk for the overtime goal, giving the Finns a stunning 3-2 win in the finale of the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Ristolainen's goal gave Finland their first gold medal at this tournament since 1998, and their first medal of any type since 2006. The win was especially sweet for the Finns as they were able to accomplish the feat against their greatest hockey rival in front of a partisan, mostly Swedish crowd at Malmo Arena.

For Ristolainen, the goal capped off a strong tournament for the young defeseman. The Buffalo Sabres prospect netted three goals in seven games and was used in all situations by Finland head coach Karri Kivi. Ristolainen's efforts were recognized at tournament's end as he was named the Best Defenseman by the IIHF Directorate, as well as being named one of the two best defensemen at this WJC by the media (the other was fellow Sabres prospect, Nikita Zadorov).

Here is the Ristolainen's golden goal:

And here is Ristolainen's comments following his country's gold medal win, presented in this Hockey's Future video.

Follow Chapin Landvogt on Twitter via @Csomichapin

 

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