Not unlike their fellow Group A combatants, the Czech Republic, Finland feasted on Latvia in their first game of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. But the second game for the Finns was a much greater challenge, one that the team wasn't ultimately able to overcome as they lost to Russia, 3-1, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.
Finland drew within one in the third period on a goal by Jonatan Tanus after Russia had taken a 2-0 leads on two goals by Ivan Barbashev. But the Finns were unable to net the equalizer with Russia adding an empty net goal off the stick of Vladimir Tkachyov, which was that player's third point of the game.
One player for Finland that has shown some good skill and grit so far in this tournament is defenseman Jimi Kuronen. The 5'10”, 181-pound Kuronen has averaged about 18 minutes through two WJC games, picking up one assist in the opening win over Latvia.
Kuronen, who played for Lukko in the Finnish Junior A league this past season, is a 95-born who is currently ranked 97th among European skaters by Central Scouting for the 2013 NHL Draft.
Kuronen spoke with Hockey's Future following the loss to Russia.
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