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World Juniors 2016: Kasperi Kapanen's OT Heroics Brings Home Gold For Finland

A thrilling game and instant classic

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Kasperi Kapanen, who missed an open net early in the game, scored a wrap-around goal in overtime to give Finland a 4-3 win and the Gold Medal on home ice.

This was simply a great game between two really good teams, and was one of the best games this year, maybe even the last few World Junior tournaments.

Finnish captain Mikko Rantanen, who scored four of those eight goals last year, seemed to put the Finns up for good with 2:09 left when he tipped a Vili Saarijärvi shot. It was only his second goal of the tournament.

However, with six seconds left, Svetlakov tipped home his second goal of the day on an Ivan Provorov shot to tie the game and force overtime.

The Russians made the odd decision of splitting their goaltenders for the semi-final and gold medal game but you could not blame them. Ilya Samsonov was great against the USA, and Alexander Georgiev was great in the gold medal game. It was unconventional, but successful. Georgiev is not the reason Russia lost.

Vladislav Kamenev opened the scoring for Russia on a one timer from the right circle. Russia was on the power play after Finland took a penalty for delay of game for clearing. Kamenev has three of the last five Russian goals including the tying and winning goals against Denmark in the quarterfinal. It was the first shot of the game for Russia.

Kamenev would be thrown out of the game after Rantanen's goal. He was originally given a 10 minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct and when he broke his stick on the penalty box goal, was given a game misconduct.

In the second period, Kapanen had an open net and looked primed to tie the game, but missed the net and Finland continued to trail. Russia also had chances. They had two shorthanded breakaways and a two-on-one late in the second period but each time, failed to extend their lead.

Finland outshot Russia 9-2 in the second period and used that momentum early in the third. Twenty four seconds into the period, Patrick Laine broke in and drove a snapshot past Alexander Georgiev to tie the game at one. It was his seventh goal of the tournament.

A minute later, Finland continued their pressure as they had a great chance, but Georgiev made a huge save. Russia came right back and scored to go up 2-1. Andrei Svetlakov created the turnover, and fired a shot over Kaapo Kähkönen.

With less than 10 minutes left, Sebastian Aho scored to tie the game for Finland. Jesse Puljujärvi took the puck around the net and found Aho across the crease, and the Finnish assistant captain made no mistake.

That line for Finland has been the story of the tournament. One year after the team scored only eight goals, they scored 33 this year and the line of Laine, Aho and Puljujärvi scored 17 of them. A friendly reminder that both Laine and Pulujärvi are eligible for the NHL Draft this year.

Puljujärvi was named tournament MVP.

Bonus Saku Koivu/Teemu Selanne celebration