Finland to play Canada for gold after edging Sweden in semis

Andy Devlin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

For the seventh time in the last nine tournaments, Finland or Canada will take home gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Finland squeaked by Sweden with a 1-0 win in the semifinal Friday. Suomi will now face Canada in the gold-medal game Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The two nations met earlier in the tournament, with Canada coming out on top 6-3.

Kasper Puutio scored the lone tally for the Finns on Friday, a power-play marker in the second period. Finland has been lights out with the man advantage, converting a tournament-high 14 times in 26 opportunities. Its 53.9% efficiency rate is second only to Canada's (57.1%).

Juha Jatkola was excellent between the pipes for Finland, stopping all 23 shots he faced. It was a bit of a surprise start for the 19-year-old, as Leevi Merilainen had been the starter for four of Finland's prior five games in the tournament.

Jesper Wallstedt wasn't too shabby in Sweden's crease, either, turning aside 27 of 28 shots.

Sweden will play Czechia for bronze Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

Finland has won gold three times (2014, 2016, 2019) at the world juniors since 2014. Canada has also won three times (2015, 2018, 2020) in that span.

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Finland to play Canada for gold after edging Sweden in semis
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