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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 6:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Ristolainen's OT winner gives Finland WJC gold

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen scored 9:42 into overtime to give Finland a dramatic 3-2 victory against Sweden in the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship before 12,023 on Sunday at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Ristolainen, a first-round pick (No. 8) of the Buffalo Sabres last June, collected a pass from captain Teuvo Teravainen along the right-wing wall inside the opposing blue line and curled toward the cage before tucking a backhand underneath goalie Oscar Dansk to give Finland its third WJC title and first since 1998.

"I saw that they played man-on-man defense in their own end," Ristolainen told the IIHF website. "It was empty in front of the net. I just skated there. I tried to put the puck somewhere hard and it went in."

Teravainen, a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012, led the tournament with 13 assists and 15 points. He notched three assists on Sunday.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

2015 World Junior brackets announced

The pools for both Group A and Group B of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal and Toronto were revealed on Sunday at the conclusion of the 2014 tournament in Malmo, Sweden.

The 11-day tournament will run Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2015. It will be the 11th time Canada has hosted the event, but the first time it will come to Toronto. Montreal hosted in 1978.

In Group A, Canada will play the preliminary round at Bell Centre in Montreal along with defending champion Finland, the United States, Slovakia and Germany.

In Group B, 2014 silver medalist Sweden will join bronze-medalist Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Norway, which lost a best-of-3 series to Germany in the 2014 WJC relegation round, will play in the Division I Group A in 2015.

The schedule will be determined at a later date.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 5:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Forsberg named MVP at WJC

Rasmus Ristolainen, who scored the golden goal midway through overtime to give Finland a 3-2 victory against Sweden in the gold medal game at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday, was also awarded the Directorate Award for best defenseman at the 11-day event.

Ristolainen finished the tournament with three goals and a plus-1 rating in five games. He was sidelined early in the tournament with the flu, but certainly made up for lost time when it mattered most as the Finns celebrated their first gold medal since 1998.

The Directorate's Most Valuable Player Award and Top Forward Award were given to Sweden center Filip Forsberg, who finished with four goals, 12 points and a plus-3 rating. The Nashville Predators prospect is the first Swede to be honored as an MVP since the awards were introduced in 2004.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:37 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany wins relegation series

Germany’s Frederik Tiffels had a goal and an assist and Marvin Cupper made 34 saves as Germany beat Norway 3-1 Sunday to survive the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Top 2014 NHL Draft prospect Leon Draisaitl had two assists and Dominik Kahun and Patrick Klopper each had a goal as Germany won the final game of the best-of-three relegation series and will take part in the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto.

It will be the third straight year Germany remains at the top level of elite under-20 international hockey, the longest such streak since a run from 1992-98.

“It’s awesome," Draisaitl told the IIHF website. "It’s our goal to be a top-10 nation and that’s what we did [Sunday]. It’s going to be probably the greatest experience you’ll ever have next year, playing in Toronto and Montreal. Those are huge cities. They’re crazy about hockey. We’re just really happy about what we did today."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:19 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Pettersson suspended for gold-medal game

Sweden forward Jesper Pettersson has been suspended by the IIHF Disciplinary Panel for the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday against Finland (1 p.m ET, NHLN-US).

Pettersson was suspended for leaving the penalty box to engage in an altercation with a Russian player during Sweden’s 2-1 win against Russia in the semifinals on Saturday.

Pettersson had been in the penalty box after being whistled for slashing with 19 seconds left in the game. When the final buzzer sounded, Pettersson left the penalty box and entered a scrum along the wall. Pettersson grabbed Russia’s Andrei Mironov and the pair began exchanging punches.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 1:15 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia takes WJC bronze with 2-1 win against Canada

Russia scored twice in the first period and Andrey Vasilevskiy shut down the Canadian offense as Russia won the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 2-1 win Sunday at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Eduard Gimatov each had a goal and Vasilevskiy made 30 saves as Russia ended Canada's medal hopes in the third-place game for the second straight tournament. At the 2013 WJC, Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the bronze-medal game.

It also marked the fourth straight tournament in which Canada lost to Russia in the medal round, following a 5-3 loss in the 2011 gold-medal game and a 6-5 loss in the semifinals in 2012.

The win gave Russia a medal in nine of the past 10 World Juniors. They've also medaled in four straight tournaments, with gold in 2011, silver in 2012 and now back-to-back bronze medals.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 5:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Rivals Finland, Sweden set for WJC title showdown

When it comes to European-based international hockey, the best rivalry could be the one between Sweden and Finland.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told reporters following his team’s 5-1 win against Canada on Saturday in the semifinals. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

That acrimony will be at its highest level Sunday when the two countries play at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It will be preceded by the bronze-medal game between Canada and Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 4:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Finland defeats Canada, will play Sweden for gold

Finland scored three times in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory against Canada on Saturday at Malmo Arena in the semifinals of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Finland will face Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It's the first time Finland will play for the gold since losing to the Czech Republic in the 2001 championship game.

Finland last won WJC gold in 1998.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told the IIHF website. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

It's a big comeback for Finland, which finished seventh at the 2013 WJC and hasn't won a medal since taking the bronze in 2006.

Captain Teuvo Teravainen had two goals and an assist, Joni NikkoArtturi Lehkonen and Rasmus Ristolainen each scored, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves.

Jonathan Drouin scored for Canada and goaltender Zachary Fucale stopped 18 of 22 shots.

Canada will play Sunday (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) in the bronze-medal game against Russia for the second straight year. Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the third-place game at the 2013 World Juniors in Ufa, Russia, snapping Canada's 15-year streak of winning a medal at the WJC.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 3:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Dansk's heroics lead Sweden into WJC final

Oskar Sundqvist scored the decisive goal early in the third period, and goalie Oscar Dansk made it stand with a spectacular 26-save performance, to lead the Swedish National Junior Team to a 2-1 victory against Russia in the semifinal round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday before a crowd of 11,725 at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Sweden advanced to its third straight gold medal match and will play Finland, which defeated Canada 5-1. The championship round is scheduled Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (NHLN-US) at Malmo Arena. Tre Kronor will look to win gold on home ice for the first time in its history, having come up short in 1979, 1984, 1993, 2000 and 2007.

Russia will face Canada in the bronze medal game at 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US) on Sunday.

"I think we played pretty good," Sweden forward Alexander Wennberg told the IIHF website. "Russia's a great team. At the end, it was tough. They had a lot of scoring chances against us. But we had a nice game and I think we deserved the win."

Sweden has won nine of its past 10 meetings against Russia, dating back to 2008. Additionally, six have been decided by one goal, including a shootout when Russia won gold in 2011, and two in overtime when Sweden won gold in 2012. The host nation also earned a 3-2 win in preliminary-round play on New Year's Eve.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

German forward Laub suspended one game

Forward Lukas Laub of the German National Junior Team was suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation disciplinary panel Saturday for his hit on Norway defenseman Erlend Lesund on Friday in Game 2 of the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

Laub will miss the final game for his country as a result of the suspension that occurred in the second period of Germany's 4-3 win. Germany and Norway play in the third and final game of the relegation round on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET to determine which team will remain in the top level at the 2015 WJC in Toronto and Montreal. The best-of-3 series is tied, 1-1.

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure