Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie To Play Against Each Other For World Junior Gold Medal
Both of Penn State men’s hockey’s representatives at the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship in Vancouver will bring a medal back to Hockey Valley.
Evan Barratt and Aarne Talvitie each won their semifinal matchups against Russia and Switzerland, respectively, on Friday night to move on to Saturday’s gold medal game. Talvitie ran riot in Finland’s semifinal against the Swiss, scoring twice in the first 5:56 of the game as his team won by a final score of 6-1.
The freshman scored his first goal with his trademark wrist shot. He took a pass at the blue line, used teammate Rasmus Kupari and the defenseman covering him as a screen, and unleashed that wrist shot over the blocker of Switzerland’s goalie to give his team an early 2-0 lead.
His second goal may not have been as pretty, but it extended Finland’s lead to 3-0. Kupari drove to the net and was denied after making a power move to the cage, and Talvitie was there to jam the puck in with no defender covering him. For those of you counting at home, Talvitie scored four goals and three assists in the six games leading up to Saturday’s gold medal game.
Barratt had a much quieter semifinal for Team USA, but his team edged Russia 2-1 while he played on the team’s second line. The Bristol, PA native hasn’t scored a point since burying the game-winning goal in the United States’ first game of the tournament against Slovakia.
Saturday’s gold medal game won’t be the first time Barratt and Talvitie played against each other for a World Junior title. The United States beat Finland in the gold medal game of the 2017 U-18 World Junior Championship, a tournament in which both players combined for 13 points.
Talvitie also served as Finland’s captain at that tournament, but he’ll hope for a different result on Saturday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The game will begin at 8 p.m., and you can watch the action on the NHL Network.
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