Aarne Talvitie, Finland Take Gold At 2019 World Junior Championship With Win Over United States

By Kaitlyn Dividock on January 5, 2019 at 11:50 pm
Finnish captain and Penn State freshman Aarne Talvitie (25) celebrates with his teammates at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver, British Colombia.

Aarne Talvitie, our sweet Finnish boy, adds some shiny hardware to his international collection.

Penn State's star freshman forward and Team Finland beat the Americans 3-2 in an intense championship battle to secure the gold medal and earn revenge from their rematch from the U-18 tourney just two years ago.

Talvitie's college teammate Evan Barratt and Team USA didn’t give up after going down 2-0, and managed to knot things up in a stellar comeback. But due to zero success on the power play, coupled by Finland’s extremely skilled goaltending and top-end talent of forwards and blueliners, the Americans ultimately fell short.

Talvitie, a New Jersey Devils’ draft pick, was an offensive juggernaut the entire tournament, and his contributions carried through to the gold medal tilt, despite an apparent ankle injury late in the opening frame.

With seven points (four goals, three assists) coming into Saturday, the Finn made a timely steal to get Finland storming into its offensive zone. Otto Latvala then threaded it through net-front traffic from the point to bolster the Finns’ lead to 2-0.

Finland is 100 percent deserving of the gold medal; that became clear after upsetting host and tournament favorite Canada. Its victory over the United States simply solidified that.

Talvitie is the sixth NCAA player to captain the WJC gold medal-winning team and first to do so in Penn State history. Talvitie and Barratt will return to Happy Valley with lots of bling around their necks — continuing to show just how far Guy Gadowsky and his Nittany Lions have come in seven short years.

Puck drop in Greenberg Ice Pavillion seems like a lifetime ago. This is an incredible feat for these two prospects and the program as a whole.