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Three Blue Jackets earn medals at 2019 World Championships

Vehviläinen claims gold, Dubois silver, Gavrikov takes home bronze

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Led by goaltender Veini Vehviläinen's gold medal, three players with Blue Jackets ties earned medals at the 2019 IIHF World Championships, held over the last two weeks and completed Sunday when Finland claimed gold with a 3-1 victory over Canada.

Vehviläinen, a goaltender the Blue Jackets drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 draft, was the lone Blue Jacket to claim gold on the Finland squad, though general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is surely fired up to see his home country triumph at the tournament held in Slovakia.

Tweet from @jkekalainen: Uskomaton JOUKKUE 🇫! Kaikki sitoutuneita taistelijoita. Onnittelut Jere Lehtinen ja Jukka Jalonen sek�� kaikki muut taustatiimin miehet, onnittelut kaikille leijonille j����ll��. Suomi on maailmanmestari! 🇫

Vehviläinen played in just one game in the tournament, losing in overtime in net during a round-robin game vs. the United States, after a second straight standout campaign in Finland, where he backstopped Kårpåt to Game 7 of the Liiga finals. He posted a 1.58 goals-against average and .933 save percentage this year in his domestic league.

The Finns also won this year's World Juniors (U-20) championships earlier this year.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a strong tournament for Team Canada and will return with a silver medal. Dubois set up the Canadians' overtime winner in the quarterfinals over Switzerland and also scored a goal in the semifinal win over the Czech Republic.

Tweet from @TSN_Sports: 🇨 SCORES!Stone ������ Marchessault (@GoldenKnights) ������ Pierre-Luc Dubois (@BlueJacketsNHL) in front for @HC_Men's 3rd goal!3-0 🇨 | #IIHFWorlds

Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, who made his CBJ debut in the postseason, played for Team Russia and won a bronze medal with Sunday's third-place game win over the Czechs. 

Zach Werenski (United States) and Alexander Wennberg (Sweden) saw their teams lose in quarterfinal action while Elvis Merzlikins (Latvia) and Alexandre Texer (France) also competed. 

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