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Kahkonen Backstops Finland To World Junior Gold

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (2014 Draft, fourth round) made 22 saves as Finland defeated Russia 4-3 in overtime in the gold medal game at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kahhkonen did not begin the tournament as Finland's starter, but after replacing Veini Vehvilainen during Finland's 6-5, quarterfinal win against Canada, he has played every minute for the host country.

On Tuesday, Kahkonen made 10 saves in the third period, and one in overtime to help lead Finland to its second gold medal at the tournament in three years.

Kahkonen finished the tournament undefeated at 4-0-0, with a .909 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average.

Kirill Kaprizov (2015 Draft, fifth round) registered a shot on goal in the loss for Russia. Kaprizov had a goal and two assists in seven games in the tournament, taking 19 shots on goal.

USA 8, Sweden 3

Defenseman Louis Belpedio (2014 Draft, third round) had two shots on goal in the United States' 8-3, bronze medal win against Sweden.

Belpedio, who served as an alternate captain for the United States, finished the tournament with a goal, an assist, and 14 shots on goal.

Sweden forward Joel Eriksson Ek (2015 draft, first round) had an assist in the loss on Tuesday, and took a team-high for shots on goal.

Eriksson Ek finished World Juniors with a goal, an assist, and 25 shots on goal — the most among any Swedish skater despite Eriksson Ek sitting out a game.

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