With Team USA’s big 2-1 win over Russia and Finland’s 6-1 trouncing of Switzerland, Penn State’s two international representatives will go toe-to-toe in the 2019 World Junior Championship gold medal game.
Evan Barratt and Aarne Talvitie solidified their respective country’s spot in the championship with wins in the semifinals Friday night, and have a quick turnaround to attempt to steal a victory over the other Saturday night.
Finnish captain Talvitie has been an absolute force throughout the tourney, and his performance against a struggling Swiss club was no different. He netted two goals in the first six minutes of the contest.
One, a gorgeous wrister:
The other, an untouched jam in off the rebound:
It marked his seventh point (four goals, three assists) in these WJCs.
Barratt has been quiet on the score sheet ever since his game-winning goal from the slot in the Americans’ first game of the tournament vs. Slovakia. However, he’s been eating up second line minutes and playing his trademark physical game, getting high danger chances around the net in bunches.
What’s unique about this WJC matchup is the fact that in 2017, Barratt and Talvitie, once again the Finns’ captain, met in the gold medal round of the U-18 World Junior Championship. The United States went on to win that game, and the two future Nittany Lions combined for 13 total points throughout that tourney.
Both the U.S. and Finland have really strong rosters this time around, and it goes without saying the Finns are looking for revenge, so expect fireworks in what will undoubtedly be an exciting, emotional game. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. EST and will air on the NHL Network.