Aarne Talvitie, Finland Advance To Semifinals Of World Junior Championship After Upsetting Canada
Captained by Penn State men’s hockey forward Aarne Talvitie, Finland pulled off the mother of all upsets in the quarterfinals of the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship on Wednesday.
The Finns beat Canada — the host nation of this year’s tournament — 2-1 in overtime to advance to the semifinals. Talvitie picked up the primary assist on Toni Utunen’s game-winning goal.
Talvitie, a sixth-round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2017 NHL Draft, was forced to turn around by fellow Devils prospect Ty Smith, but he still managed to find Utunen with a perfect backhand pass. The defenseman then proceeded to leave the fans inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver stunned by firing a wrist shot past the glove of Canadian goaltender Mikey DiPietro.
With the assist, Penn State’s lone representative on Finland’s roster now has two goals and three assists in five games at the tournament. The Finns will now take on Switzerland, which also pulled off a quarterfinal upset by beating Sweden 2-0, in the semifinals on Friday, January 4.
Unfortunately for Guy Gadowsky’s program, Talvitie won’t play in the Nittany Lions’ first series of the second half of the season because he’ll still be out on international duty. Penn State will play two away games against Minnesota at 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday without the freshman, who has 16 points in 17 NCAA games to start his North American hockey career.
Elsewhere, Penn State sophomore Evan Barratt and Team USA currently hold a 2-0 lead over the Czech Republic after two periods of play in their quarterfinal matchup. Barratt’s only point of the competition so far was his game-winning goal against Slovakia in the United States’ first game of the group stage.
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