2013 WJC Blog: USA-Finland exhibition game - 22.12.12
The Americans and Finns played their final World Junior Championship exhibition game on Saturday morning with Finland picking up a 5-1 win over the USA.
Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau made his first appearance for the United States after sitting out with his linemates JT Miller and Rocco Grimaldi in Thursday's 3-2 OT win over Sweden. His fellow Calgary prospect Jon Gillies was also on the American roster, backing up John Gibson.
Gaudreau's high-end puck skills and speed were on display at points but due to the high number of penalties called against the US, his line was unable to generate much momentum.
Calgary's 2012 second round draft pick Patrick Sieloff was scratched on Saturday. He suited up for Thursday's game.
Markus Granlund, a Flames second round draft pick in 2011, showed once again why he's centering Finland's top line with a strong performance against the Americans. He and linemate Joel Armia were two of the most noticeable players on the ice in the Finns 3-2 win over Canada on Thursday and the duo wreaked havoc in the US zone in the final two periods of the game.
Despite being outshot 10-4, Finland opened the scoring in the first frame. Thomas Nykopp picked up an American turnover along the boards and was able to get it to Robert Leino. The centerman snapped a shot high over Gibson's right shoulder to give his country the 1-0 lead late in the opening period.
The USA appeared to even things up late in the period on a 5-on-3 power play when Grimaldi one-timed a pass from Jacob Trouba from the side of the net. The replay showed the puck bounce off the back bar in the net but the refs did not see it go in, waiving off Grimaldi's protests that his shot beat Joonas Korpisalo.
Granlund made it 2-0 Finland in the opening minutes of the final frame when he was able to tap an Olli Määttä shot that went wide. Armia had battled along the boards to get the puck to Määttä and the blueliner tried to snap a shot on net in the slot. Granlund, who got himself to the side of the net to pick up a potential rebound, had an open net to deposit the puck into.
The goal came on the power play, giving Granlund his second tally with the man advantage in exhibition games.
Just seconds later, 2013 draft-eligible forward Aleksander Barkov picked off a rebound right in front of Gibson, throwing over top of the netminder to make it 3-0.
The Americans got themselves on the board when Blake Pietila, on the self-proclaimed Grind Line, knocked the puck past Eetu Laurikainen, who took over in net for Korpisalo midway through the second period.
Finland pushed their lead to 5-1 with two power play markers after Pietilla's goal. Barkov sent a hard shot on net from the point and his linemate Artturi Lehkonen deflected it past Gibson. Minutes later, Teuvo Teräväinen's slap shot from the point went through a screen and into the back of the net.
Granlund was named Finland's Player of the Game while Seth Jones was the American Player of the Game.
USA LINES, DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS & GOALTENDERS
Johnny Gaudreau - JT Miller - Rocco Grimaldi
Alex Galchenyuk - Trocheck - Barber
Blake Pietila - Cole Bardreau - Ryan Hartman
Stefan Matteau - Sean Kuraly - Tyler Biggs
Mike Reilly - Seth Jones
Shayne Gostisbehere - Jacob Trouba
Jake McCabe - Connor Murphy
FINLAND LINES, DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS & GOALTENDERS
Miikka Salomäki - Markus Granlund - Joel Armia
Henrik Haapala - Aleksander Barkov - Artturi Lehkonen
Teuvo Teräväinen - Miro Aaltonen - Juuso Ikonen
Thomas Nykopp - Robert Leino - Markus Hännikäinen
Olli Määttä - Rasmus Ristolainen
Petteri Lindbohm - Ville Pokka
Juuso Vainio - Juuso Riikola
Esa Lindell - Henri Auvinen