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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 4:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland heading home happy after win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a schedule that saw Finland play five games in six days here at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, a 3-2 overtime win against the United States on Saturday will send the Finns home happy.

"To win this game was very important for us because it was the fifth game and we had four losses in a row," Finland coach Harri Rindell told NHL.com. "So we needed to have this. It's always nice to have that kind of end of the tournament."

Miro Aaltonen, who led Finland in scoring this week with three goals and three assists, broke in alone for the winning goal in overtime, knocking his rebound past U.S. goalie Jon Gillies.

Rindell said he was a bit surprised to see his team still be able to finish those kind of plays with all the hockey they played this week.

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 3:13 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Final score: Finland 3, U.S. 2 (OT)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Miro Aaltonen scored at 2:11 of overtime, giving Finland a 3-2 win against the U.S. to close the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation camp here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Aaltonen broke in alone on U.S. goalie Jon Gillies and knocked in his own rebound as Finland won for the first time in five games here.

Tyler Biggs scored a pair of goals in the third period as the U.S. twice rallied from one-goal deficits to tie the game.

Biggs' first goal, a re-direction of a Matthew Grzelcyk shot at 10:17 of the third, tied the game at 1-1, but Finland's Artturi Lehkonen banged in a loose puck in front to put Finland up 2-1 at 14:33.

Biggs again tied the game with 2:44 left, when he lifted a loose puck in front over a fallen Finnish goalie Janne Juvonen.

Back with more from both locker rooms.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 2:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Second period: Finland 1, U.S. 0

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It took until their sixth chance of the game, but Finland finally took advantage of the U.S. with the man-advantage, getting the game's only goal to lead after 40 minutes here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Back-to-back penalties on U.S. forwards Stefan Matteau for slashing and Ryan Hartman for roughing left the U.S. with tired penalty killers. With Hartman in the box, Finland took advantage by cycling the puck in the left corner. Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Barkov then made a nifty pass through the zone to Markus Hannikainen, who batted in his own rebound at 18:35.

Philadelphia Flyers prospect Anthony Stolarz, who started the game in goal for the U.S., stopped all 16 shots he faced in 29 minutes of action.

The U.S. failed on its one power-play chance in the period, and now is 0-for-3 in the game.

Back with more after the final horn.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 1:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S., Finland scoreless after one period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Each team had multiple chances to crack the score sheet, but a physical, tight-checking game ended scoreless after 20 minutes.

Finland went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage, and now is 1-for-19 on the power play in its time in Lake Placid.

The U.S. outshot Finland 13-7, but failed on a pair of power plays.

Back with more after the second period.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 1:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sabres happy with Armia's progress

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a home in the Olympic region, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has been a frequent presence at this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. He's kept an especially watchful eye on Finland forward Joel Armia, the team's first round pick in 2011.

Heading into Saturday's camp finale against the U.S., Armia has just one goal in four games, but some of that lack of production can be attributed to Finland's brutal schedule this week -- Saturday's game will be their fifth game in six days.

"I think Joel's first game here on Monday I thought was the best I'd ever see him," Sabres director of pro scouting Jon Christiano told NHL.com. "I thought he was a real difference-maker in that game. He saw the puck a lot, he made things happen with it. I really liked his vision, how he distributed the puck and I liked his compete level. He was trying to play the man, trying to play through guys on the forecheck. It was good to see that growth there. I think his last couple games have been a little less. I don't know if that's four games in five nights taking its toll. The way he played the first day is the way he's going to have to play more often."

Armia admitted this year's trip here hasn't been his best hockey, in part because of the schedule and in part because of the fact Finland entered Saturday's game 0-4 in Lake Placid.

"It hasn't been so good. I don't know why," he told NHL.com. "Sometimes it was decent play, good on the ice. Then I'm not. It's hard to say."

A 6-foot-3, 187-pound right wing taken by the Sabres with the 16th pick in 2011, Armia had 18 goals and 20 assists in 54 games with Pori in SM-liiga, but a knee injury limited him to just three playoff games, and delayed his off-season workout plan.

Christiano said Armia will play at least one more season in Finland, but said he's seen positive progression in the big forward's development.

"I think he still needs to get stronger," Christiano said. "I saw him in Finland last year. I was happy with his level of involvement. Going into some tougher areas, hanging around the front of the net, working the corners, keeping his feet moving. He's still a young kid, and there has to be growth in more areas. We have seen some, we have seen growth through our development camp last month. He's probably on pace where we're pleased, but like all these young guys they have to keep building on what their skills are and getting better in the areas where they're delinquent."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 12:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lineups for Finland, U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups the U.S. and Finland will use Saturday for the final game of this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Among those seeing action will be Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey, the only skater not to play in the last two games. He'll start on a line with center Cole Bardreau and top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Hartman.

Also seeing action will be goalies Anthony Stolarz and Jon Gillies, both playing for the first time since the split-squad games Monday. Stolarz, a 2012 second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, is listed as the starter. He'll likely play half the game, with Gillies, a 2012 third-round pick of the Calgary Flames, finishing the game.

Sitting out for the U.S. are forwards Alex Galchenyuk, J.T. Miller, John Gaudreau, Stefan Noesen, Sean Kuraly and Mario Lucia; defensemen Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba, Mike Reilly and Shayne Gostisbehere; and goaltenders John Gibson and Garret Sparks.

Finland will pack three of its top scorers on line. Chicago Blackhawks 2012 first-round pick Teuvo Teravainen will center Juuso Ikonen, who has a team-high four goals, at right wing, and Miro Aaltonen, tied with Ikonen for the team scoring lead with five points, playing left wing. Ikonen and Aaltonen both are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft -- Ikonen for the first time, Aaltonen after going unpicked last year.

Janne Juvonen, who played well in relief of Richard Ullberg in Friday's 5-2 loss to Sweden, will start in goal for Finland.

U.S.

Stefan Matteau - Steven Fogarty - Tyler Biggs

Reid Boucher - Vincent Trocheck - Nicolas Kerdiles

Jimmy Vesey - Cole Bardreau - Ryan Hartman

Blake Pietila - Travis Boyd - Colin Blackwell

Thomas Di Pauli

Brady Skjei - Connor Murphy

Jake McCabe - Matthew Grzelcyk

Patrick Sieloff - Garrett Haar

Andy Welinski

Anthony Stolarz

Jon Gillies

FINLAND

Artturi Lehkonen - Robert Leino - Joel Armia

Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teravainen - Juuso Ikonen

Toni Kallela - Nico Nyberg - Markus Hannikainen

Heikki Liedes - Aleksi Salonen - Matti Lamberg

Alexander Barkov

Olli Maatta - Ville Pokka

Mikko Lehtonen - Rasmus Ristolainen

Joonas Valkonen - Niklas Tikkinen

Esa Lindell

Janne Juvonen

Richard Ullberg

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 11:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Bardreau auditioning for more than WJC

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The players invited by USA Hockey to attend this week's national junior evaluation camp spent their time making a first impression in a quest to earn a spot with Team USA for the 2013 World Junior Championship.

That group includes Cole Bardreau, but he's working toward something more -- finding an NHL job.

Bardreau, a 5-foot-10, 184-pound center, is an NHL free agent after being passed over in the draft the last three years.

Bardreau said he isn't dwelling on that disappointment, instead focusing on the opportunity he has now to showcase himself against high-level competition.

"I try not to think about it," he told NHL.com. "I try to go out there and have some fun and play hockey. At the same time, it's a great opportunity so I'm going to try to take advantage of it every shift."

He's done that this week in Lake Placid, impressing the coaching staff with on-ice presence and defensive abilities. U.S. coach Phil Housley used him as one of his primary penalty-killing forwards in his four games this week.

"I think he's a smart player," U.S. coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "He's in shooting lanes, he does the little things well. That's why he's been killing penalties."

Bardreau had just four goals and four assists in 34 games as a freshman at Cornell University last season, and understands if he does make Team USA for the WJC, it'll be in a more defensive-oriented role.

"That's one of the most important parts of my game," Bardreau said of his defensive play. "Especially after my [age] 17 year at the [United States National Team Development Program]. I got into a different role there, wasn't much of a scorer, and I had to become more of a defensive player. I get limited time out there, but while I am out there I try to take advantage of it."

Has he done enough to draw a few more scouts for another look this season at Cornell?

"I think I'm showcasing my skills pretty good," he said. "There's a few plays I'd like to have back, but I think for the most part I'm playing pretty well."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 7:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden happy with performance at camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg said it wasn't a perfect game, but he'll leave this year's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp on a positive note after a 5-2 win against Finland at Herb Brooks Arena on Friday.

Sweden went 3-1 in its four games, capped by Friday's win.

"I think we actually looked a little bit tired after a long tournament," Ronnberg told NHL.com. "It was a good game, but not the best. It's still OK, but we know we can play better, especially in the power play. We have to be more effective there."

Sweden went 2-for-8 on the power play, but one came on a five-on-three advantage.

That goal was a rocket by team captain and Edmonton Oilers prospect Oscar Klefbom, who skated into a slap shot from above the right circle that nearly tore through the back of the net.

"He has been all over me that he should be on the power play and now he showed me why," Ronnberg said.

Ronnberg also was happy with the play of Victor Rask, who had a goal and an assist in the win.

"I think he has been one of the most consistent players in our team," Ronnberg said. "He's really strong on the puck and he's a really reliable two-way player for us."

Rask, a 2011 second-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, is one of six players who came to this year's camp with the experience of having won the 2012 World Junior Championship.

"I know what it takes to win the world championship," he told NHL.com. "I'm just trying to help the other guys coming into the team."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 6:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden defeats Finland, 5-2

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland's Juuso Ikonen scored the only goal of the third period, but that was all it could get as Sweden finished its time in Lake Placid with a 5-2 win.

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Victor Rask had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Lilja, Rasmus Bengtsson, Oscar Klefbom and William Karlsson each added a goal. Goalie Niklas Lundstrom made 38 saves.

Janne Juvonen, who gave up all eight goals in Sweden's 8-2 win against Finland on Tuesday, stopped 11 shots after starting the third period in goal.

More from both locker rooms in a bit.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 5:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden leads Finland 5-1 after two periods

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden extended its lead over Finland in the second period, scoring three times to take a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Victor Rask started the scoring when he finished off a nice cycle play with linemates Jeremy Boyce Rotevall and Viktor Arvidsson nine minutes into the period.

Oscar Klefbom rocketed a shot from just above the right circle during a two-man advantage to make it 4-0 at 11:23.

Finland finally got on the board when Robert Leino got in front of the net and tipped a Rasmus Ristolainen shot for a power-play goal at 15:24, but the momentum lasted just 30 seconds, as William Karlsson scored at 15:54 to make it 5-1.

Back with more after the final whistle.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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