The host country for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Team Finland, received an early scare from Slovakia before taking control of a game that ended with an 8-3 win for the Finns at Hartwall Arena, in Helsinki, Finland.
Slovakia jumped off to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Matus Sukel and Radovan Bondra (CHI). A little over five minutes after Bondra’s goal, however, forward Sebastian Aho (CAR) netted a power play goal to get Finland into the game, and the Finns continued to roll from there with the next four goals of the game.
Aleksi Saarela (NYR) and Roope Hintz (DAL) scored goals for Finland in the second period to make the score 3-2, but then the floodgates really opened in the third period with the Finns scoring five goals on 13 shots. The tournament’s leading scorer, Jesse Puljujarvi (2016), scored 28 seconds into the period, with Aho, Patrik Laine (2016), Kasperi Kapanen (TOR), and Kasper Bjorkqvist adding the other goals for Finland. Patrik Maier scored the third goal for Slovakia in the loss.
Kaapo Kahkonen (MIN) stopped 25 of 28 shots to pick up the win in net.
Hintz and defenseman Olli Joulevi (2016) spoke with Hockey’s Future following the win, with their comments being captured in this HF video.
Highlights from the Slovakia-Finland match can be viewed below.
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