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Honka Scores Game-winner as Finland Secures Playoff Berth at World Juniors

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars prospect Julius Honka scored a goal, and fellow Dallas prospect Aleksi Makela chipped in an assist as Finland defeated Germany, 2-0, Wednesday evening in Montreal to secure a spot in the quarterfinal round at the World Junior Championship.

Finland, which finished fourth in Group A, will take on Group B winner Sweden in one of Friday’s four quarterfinal matches.

“There’s always a lot of passion against the Swedes,” Honka told IIHF.com. “I don’t think anybody needs to get any extra passion for that game. We’ll battle hard and do our things out there.”

Honka scored the only goal the Finns would need against Germany, tallying off a blast from the right point 2:47 into the game. Finland added an insurance goal at 14:22 of the second. Makela picked up the secondary assist on that one.

Honka, who took a puck to the knee and was questionable for Wednesday’s game, again played on Finland’s top defense pairing. He had a game-high six shots on goal and a plus-one rating. Makela played on Finland’s second defense pair. He had two shots on goal and a plus-one rating.

Other quarterfinal matches will feature USA vs. Russia, Czech Republic vs. Slovakia and Canada vs. Denmark. Germany and Switzerland will meet in a relegation series.

Wednesday’s games

Sweden 5, Switzerland 1
Canada 5, USA 3
Czech Republic 4, Russia 1
Finland 2, Germany 0

Friday’s quarterfinals (Central Time)

USA vs. Russia, Noon
Sweden vs. Finland, 2:00 p.m.
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia, 4:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

Canada vs. Denmark, 7: 00 p.m.

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