Team Finland got off to a fine start at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, defeating the U.S. by a 5-1 score. The Finns continued their winning ways on Day 2 of the tournament, defeating Slovakia by a 4-2 score.
Finland won on the strength of goals from defensemen Robin Salo and Otto Makinen, and forwards Eeli Tolvanen and Otto Koivula. Defenseman Markus Niemelainen recorded two assists for the victorious Finns, while goaltender Niilo Halonen stopped 24 of 26 shots.
This Finnish squad is being captained by defenseman Juuso Valimaki, a 2017 draft-eligible who has already logged a good amount of international action for his country. Valimaki competed for the Ilves organization over the past couple of seasons, but will be moving to North America for the 2015-16 season to play for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL.
Valimaki spoke with Hockey’s Future after his team’s win over Slovakia, with that conversation being included in this HF video.
2015 #Hlinka: LHD Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City, WHL/2017 Eligible) with confident rush through three checkers then rifles one just over the cage
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) August 10, 2015
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