After picking up the hat trick against Canada, USA’s Colin White scored the overtime game winner to give the States a 2-1 win over Finland to take home the U18 gold. It was the least amount of goals scored in a game for the Americans, who had been blowing out countries left and white.
Finland scored early, just 17 seconds into the game, for a 1-0 lead. Julius Nattinen scored the early tally that gave Finland the advantage.
USA finally scored in the third period when Matthew Tkachuk put one past Finnish goalie Veini Vehvilainen, who had been standing on his head until this point. The goal would force overtime in the gold medal game,
In the overtime period, the Americans manager 18 shots to Finland’s two, but it would be on that 18th shot the game was won as White scored. In the end USA managed to shoot 62 times compared to the 20 attempts from the Finnish.
USA dominated the tournament on so many levels, even scoring seven goals against Canada in a decisive semi final game. They even put up a whopping 13 goals against the Germans.
One of the reasons for their dominance was tournament MVP Auston Matthews, who led the tournament in points. The Arizona native is slated to become hockey’s next big prospect, and his terrific showing in the junior tournament proved his abilities even more.
White also had a terrific showing after stepping up in the past two games. He’s projected to be drafted by an NHL club this season, likely a mid range second round pick, but he’s also committed to Boston College so he’s probably a few years away from making his pro debut.
Overall, the tournament was swarming with prospects, which we covered after they knocked out the Canadian junior team. However it can’t be overstated how well the Americans played and how many elite prospects came from the United States team.
Meanwhile, after being knocked out by the United States in the semi finals, Canada took home the bronze, defeating Switzerland 5-2 behind the efforts of Glenn Gawdin, who scored twice in the game. Finland had kncoked out Switzerland in the other semi final to advance to the game against the United States.
Zachary Sawchenko also played well for the Canadians, making 28 saves in the victory while other goal scorers included Brett Howden and Jansen Harkins.
Many of the prospects that participated in this tournament will be drafted come June, so it’s a good idea to remember the names.