Finland emerged victorious from Friday’s goalkeeper duel in Edmonton, defeating Sweden 1-0 in the semi-finals of the World Junior Hockey Championship.
The Finns thus join Canada, who ditched the Czech Republic at the start of the day, in the final. It is the first time in World Juniors history that these two countries compete for the gold medal, despite winning three prestigious titles since 2014.
In today’s duel, the two cleverly masked men defended their cage. Juha Jatkola stopped all 23 of the Swedes’ attempts, while Minnesota Wild player Jesper Wallstedt failed only once on 28 shots.
The hero of the match was defender Casper Botio, the only player to turn on the red light in 60 minutes. In a play of strength, he got a pass from Aato Ratti before storming the Swedish defense from the outside. The Florida Panthers in the fifth round finished their move by passing the disc across the Wallstedt platforms.
At the end of the middle half, Sweden had a golden opportunity to equalize, but did not take advantage of the double-strength game.
Puutio was named alongside strikers Roni Hirvonen and Roby Jarventie as the Finnish Players of the Tournament after the match.
Woolstedt, defender Emil Andre and midfielder Aki Stockstad received similar titles from the Swedes.
In addition, Montreal Canadiens hope Petteri Nurmi was left aside for this duel, as was Winnipeg Jets first-round pick Brad Lambert.
The bronze medal match and final will be held on Saturday at Rogers Place.