U.S. loses heartbreaker to Finland in World Junior title game; Poehling named tournament MVP

Ryan Poehling (SCSU-11) 2018 October 7 St. Cloud State University hosts Mount Royal University in a exhibition contest at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center (Bradley K. Olson)
Ryan Poehling tallied eight points for Team USA at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) and Josh Norris (Michigan) scored and Cayden Primeau (Northeastern) turned aside 28 shots, but the U.S. National Junior Team fell to Finland 3-2 in the gold-medal game of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Saturday night in Vancouver.

Finland took the lead with 1:26 remaining as Kaapo Kakko jumped on a loose puck alongside the net after a shot from the point off the stick of Anton Lundell.

“We knew from Day 1 that this group had something special and even though we didn’t play the perfect game, it was almost enough,” said Team USA coach Mike Hastings (Minnesota State) in a statement. “There’s no doubt this stings, especially with the way we came back from a two-goal deficit, but there’s a lot this group can be proud of in helping the United States earn a fourth straight medal in this tournament. These players earned a medal for our country and it won’t be their last.

“This is the future of USA Hockey and I think I speak for our nation when I say we’re excited to see these players one day represent our country again and I have no doubt they’ll one day bring gold home.”

Team USA’s silver-medal finish continues its unprecedented medal streak in tournament play after winning gold in 2017 and earning bronze-medal finishes in 2016 and 2018. The U.S. now has 12 medals in tournament play, including four gold medals (2004, 2010, 2013, 2017), two silver medals (1997, 2019) and six bronze medals (1986, 1992, 2007, 2011, 2016, 2018).

Following the game, Ryan Poehling (St. Cloud State) was named tournament MVP and earned the Director Award as Best Forward, finishing with five goals and three assists.

Poehling is just the fourth-ever U.S. player to earn tournament MVP honors after Zach Parise (2004), John Gibson (2010) and Casey Mittelstadt (2018).


  1. my major issue with the game was the fact that officials assigned to the gold medal game were from Russia, and the Czech Republic. Two teams that the USA beat on the way to the gold medal game. The refs assigned should have been Swedish, and Slovakian. Two countries that had no interest in the the two teams playing as neither of those nations were knocked out by the two teams playing in the gold medal game. The no call was a Joke call, and the fact that the player was mugged by three players when he was going for the puck was a bigger joke.

    • The new American way. Whine about the refs when things don’t go your way. The teenage players don’t do it. They leave to you and the rest of the chronic complainers. But please don’t stop – it’s too much fun to watch!

      • well, let’s do this right. First know someone’s back ground before you make an assumption based on a comment they make on a messages board. Now down to brass tax. 1, I was not cheering for the US. 2, I am a patched official that can officiate games in both US and Canada. I am certified to officiate to the high school level in the US, and Midget levels in Canada. I know the rule book, 3 When I am assigned to officiate a game, it is not random. I am not able to officiate games where I might have a personal interest. 4 I watched 80% of the games in the WJC, and the officiating was terrible from top to bottom. So just stating how I feel as they relate to the game in question. 5 I feel that Finland out played the US, and earned the win. And finally do you have nothing better to do with your time then to troll message boards? Must be a lonely life. Lonely, lonely life.

        • Then this amusing strategy of whining about the refs when things don’t go your way has bled into Canada as well. Aren’t you trolling message boards as well?

          • Ok, no, not Canadian either. I live in the US. I can’t cheer for a team in cases such as these, due to the fact that it could disqualify me from being eligible to officiate in tournaments throughout the US & Canada, as my comments might show a bias. Also, posting a generalized comment about an article is not trolling. Replying to someone’s post with nothing more then words that are meant to spark an inflammatory responsefrom the poster is trolling. So my original comment is not trolling. Though my comment about you trolling, and having a lonely life is trolling.

          • It never gets old watching you and the troll patrol determine which posts are considered trolling and which are not. And you always manage to exclude yourselves. Oh, and while this is not based on official date, I strongly believe that you have set the record for most use of the word trolling in one post. Well done!

  2. Definitely a tough loss, but the USA has medaled in the last 4 WJCs. Something Canada, Russia, Finland or Sweden can’t say. I’ll take it. U-S-A!


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