Photo: Kingston Frontenacs defenseman and Nashville Predators prospect Mikko Vainonen won gold in his first and only appearance at the U20 WJC (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
For some members of Finland's 2014 World Junior Championship entry, it was a final opportunity to win a gold medal at the U20 level. For Finnish defenseman Mikko Vainonen, it was his first and only chance to win gold at that level, and he made the most of it.
Photo: Finland defenseman and New York Islanders prospect Ville Pokka in playing in his third season in Liiga, Finland’s top hockey league, despite being just 19 years of age (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
There is no question that Finland defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen left his mark on his country's gold medal win at the 2014 World Junior Championship, as the big defender netted the golden goal to help Finland take their first gold medal at this event since 1998. But one of Ristolainen's blueline brethren, Ville Pokka, may have been Finalnd's most consistently effective defensemen at this WJC.
Photo: Finland forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Artturi Lehkonen played in his second U20 WJC, serving as an assistant captain for his country at the 2014 tournament (courtesy of ANDREAS HILLERGREN/AFP/Getty Images)
Finland's top five-man unit at the 2014 World Junior Championship was very effective, with that group posting 39 points in total over that country's seven-game run to the gold medal.
Photo: Finland forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Henri Ikonen has been a productive player for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs the past two seasons, posting 96 points in 94 games to date (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
While Finland's gold medal-winning squad at the 2014 World Junior Championship featured a couple of noteworthy performers, the win was very a much a team win in that contributors could be found all across the roster.
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.