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2019 World Juniors: Day 10 recap

...three Canucks will play for gold Saturday

by Tyson Giuriato @TysonGiuriato / Freelance writer

Going for gold.

A Vancouver Canucks prospect is guaranteed to win a gold medal at the 2019 World Junior Championship.

It will be Quinn Hughes, Tyler Madden and Team USA taking on Toni Utunen and Team Finland on Saturday at Rogers Arena.

The United States edged Russia by a 2-1 score on Friday, while Finland cruised by Switzerland by a score of 6-1.

This will mark the second consecutive year a Canucks prospect will win gold, following Jonah Gadjovich and Canada in 2018.

USA (2) - Russia (1)

Quinn Hughes (USA): 0 shots
Tyler Madden (USA): 1 shot

Cayden Primeau stopped 34-of-35 shots the Russians fired his way as the United States were able to hang on for the victory and punch their ticket to the gold medal game.

Oliver Wahlstrom opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period, while Alexander Chmelevski made it a two-goal cushion with a power-play goal just over four minutes into the middle frame.

The United States were outshot 27-21 in the final 40 minutes, including 15-7 in the third period.

It was a quiet game for both Hughes and Madden. Hughes finished with no shots on goal and logged 21:08 of ice time, third most on his team. Madden finished with one shot on goal and 15:13 of ice time.

It marked the first time both players have played a meaningful game at Rogers Arena.

"I was really excited to play here for the first time," said Hughes. "It was an awesome game and a great atmosphere."

Team USA will be looking for their fourth gold medal in 10 years, which would be double what any other country has done in that span. They are also guaranteed a medal for the fourth consecutive year after winning gold in 2017 and earning bronze in 2016 and 2018.

Next up: Gold Medal Game vs. Finland (Saturday, 5:00pm PT, TSN)

Finland (6) - Switzerland (1)

Toni Utunen (FIN): 2 shots

Aleksi Heponiemi had a goal and three assists, while team captain Aarne Talvitie found the back of the net twice as Finland jumped out to a 4-0 lead just 7:43 into the game.

Due to an injury to fellow blueliner Ville Heinola, Utunen was moved up to the first defensive pairing for Finland following his overtime heroics against Canada in the quarterfinals.

The 2018 fifth-rounder finished plus-1, with a pair of shots on net in 16:06 of ice time. He drew a penalty early in the first period after cutting to the net and his teammates were able to make good on the man-advantage.

Utunen will have an opportunity to add another gold medal to his collection. Last spring, he captained Finland to gold 2018 World Under-18 Championship.

As for Finland, they will look to win their third gold medal since 2014 after finishing ninth and sixth the past two events. This will be the first time Finland will play in the gold medal game on Canadian soil.

Next up: Gold Medal Game vs. USA (Saturday, 5:00pm PT, TSN)

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