Finland Wins Second Gold in Three Years

A look at the happenings across minor league, college, junior, and amateur hockey from Tuesday:

*Finland won its second Gold Medal in three seasons with a 4-3 win in the title game of the World Junior Championships in Helsinki. After Andrei Svetlakov scored for Russia to tie the game, 3-3, to force overtime, Kasperi Kapanen scored 1:33 into the extra period.

*Team USA beat Sweden, 8-3, to win Bronze and earn its first medal since 2013. Bruins prospects Anders Bjork and Ryan Donato scored two goals apeice while Brandon Carlo had a goal and an assist. Matthew Tkachuk (2-1–3) joined Bjork and Donato as the multi-goal scorers for the Americans.

*Red Deer (WHL) extended its winning to three with a 4-3 win over Prince Albert on Tuesday. Bruins first round pick Jake DeBrusk – who posted a 5-5–10 line in his first four games, after he was traded to Red Deer from Swift Current – was held off the scoresheet for the first time in a Rebels sweater, but still managed a plus-two, landing four shots on net. Red Deer (27-13) is tied with Lethbridge for first place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

*Yale defeated UMass, 3-2, in overtime. Junior forward and Blackhawks prospect John Hayden scored the winner 3:13 into overtime, with Bruins prospect Rob O’Gara picking up the assist. It was just the fifth point of the season for O’Gara, whose numbers are down from 2014-15, when he was third on the team with 21 points.

Three Stars of the Night

Ryan Bowen, Moose Jaw (WHL). The Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) is an endangered species. So you have to appreciate it when it comes around. Bowen, a right winger in his first full season in major junior, scored two goals, assisted on another and logged five minutes in the penalty box for fighting in the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 win over Medicine Hat. Bowen, who turned 17 last month, will be eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

Paul Berrafato, Holy Cross. Berrafato made 10 of his 16 saves in the third period of the Crusaders’ 2-0 win over American International, their unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1). The sophomore is 11-4-1 in 17 games (15 starts). Berrafato’s 2.06 GAA ranks ninth nationally among goaltenders who have played 15 or more games this season.

John Hayden, Yale. The junior scored twice, the latter being the winner in overtime in Yale’s 3-2 win over UMass on Tuesday. Hayden, a 2013 third-round pick by Chicago, has five goals in his last three games.

Finland, Russia to Play for Gold in Helsinki

The only action from non-NHL hockey circuits on Monday occurred in Helsinki, where the medal round of the World Junior Championships got under way. The day ended with Russia in the Gold Medal game for a second consecutive year, facing off against host-country Finland, marking the third consecutive year the host country has played for the Gold.

*Russia knocked off Team USA, 2-1, to clinch its spot in the title game. The Yanks went ahead, 1-0, on a Christian Dvorak goal 9:03 into the game, but Russia scored two goals in a span of 2:48 during the second period to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

*The Fins upset Sweden, 2-1. Like Russia, Finland spotted the Swedes a 1-0 first period advantage before a pair of quick strikes in the second. Roope Hintz and Antti Kalapudas scored 1:56 apart from each other. Earning the primary assist on both goals was Mikko Rantanen, the 10th overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Avalanche prospect has 26 points in 22 games for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, and has seen action in six games for the Patrick Roy-coached varsity. The Finnish captain has a goal and four points in six games during the tournament.

*Russia and Finland will play each other in the Gold Medal game for the four time in the tournament’s history, and the first since 1998, Finland’s lone win in three matchups (Russia won in 1980 and 1984, while still the Soviet Union). Russia has won 13 Gold Medals (9 came as a the Soviet Union/Commonwealth of Independent States), second only to Canada, which has won 16. It leads the world with 33 medals. Finland will be going for its fourth Gold, and second in three years.

*Russia beat Finland, 6-4, in pool play.

*Team USA and Sweden will faceoff for the Bronze. Sweden will look to medal for the fourth time in five years while the Yanks will try to avoid not medalling for the fourth time in five years. A loss will mean three straight years of the Americans being shutout of a medal, which hasn’t happened since the U.S. failed to medal for six straight years from 1998-2003.

*The US held Sweden to one goal in pool play, but couldn’t solve Swedish netminder Linus Soderstrom, who made 46 saves to record the shutout in the 1-0 win. Sweden scored at least five goals in each of its other three round robin games, as well as in the quarterfinals, a 6-0 win over Slovakia.

Kicking Around the Minors: Khokhlachev, Griffith, Czarnik Continue Hot Streaks

A look at the the happenings from around minor league, college, and junior hockey over the weekend:

*The Providence Bruins returned home from a six-game road trip on Sunday, beating Rochester, 5-2. The Bruins, who play 10 of their next 12 games at the Dunkin Donuts Center, began the two-game homestand on a winning note after the 1-5 roadie.

*Alex Khokhlachev, sent down on Saturday after a one-game stint in Boston, tied a season high with four points, scoring two goals. The left-shot center is on a tear, with 7-9–16 totals in 12 games since returning from a hand injury at the beginning of December.

*P-Bruins leading scorer Seth Griffith, sent down along with Koko following a one-week stint in which he saw action in two NHL games, assisted on three goals, including both of Khokhlachev’s. He leads the Baby B’s with 30 points in 25 games.

*Both Griffith and Khokhlachev rank in the top 10 in scoring in the AHL, with Griffith (10-20–30) tied for sixth and Khokhlachev (11-18–29) tied for ninth.

*Austin Czarnik had three assists for the second time in three games. The rookie out of Miami (Ohio) has seven helpers in his last three games, despite having just one goal in his last seven. Czarnik has 18 points in his last 12 games.

*Providence had four powerplay goals in six opportunities. The Bruins have seven goals in their last 15 man-advantage situations. The powerplay unit is the best in the AHL, its success rate currently standing at 24.1 percent.

*Posting a minus-one rating, defenseman Tommy Cross was a minus for the fifth time in his last seven games. He has just one point since the start of November and four since putting up seven in his first six games of the season. The 26-year-old is on a one-year deal that pays $600,000, and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

*Matt Irwin scored 4:27 into the game to open the scoring, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games. The 28-year-old defenseman, in his fifth AHL season, is a plus-four since the start of December. Irwin, who was signed to a one-year deal by the Bruins over the summer and began the season on the NHL roster, playing two games, should be atop the pecking order if Claude Julien is in need of a blueliner.

*Colton Hargrove scored for a third consecutive contest with his tally at 9:49 of the second period. Hargrove has four goals and six points in his last three games.

*Malcolm Subban stopped 27 of 29 shots, shutting out the Amerks in the final 40 minutes, making 18 saves. He hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game since Nov. 20, a streak of 13 games.

*In World Junior quarterfinal action on Saturday, Team USA advanced to the medal round for the first time since 2013 with a 7-0 win over the Czech Republic. Auston Matthews had a hat trick while Bruins prospects Brandon Carlo and Ryan Donato notched assists.

*It was learned over the weekend that Bruins forward David Pastrnak suffered a finger injury during the tournament, though Julien said the injury isn’t serious. Pastrnak hasn’t played since Oct. 31, missing nearly two months of action before a rehab stint in Providence preceded the World Juniors go-around. The 19-year-old has two goals and four points in 10 games this season.

*Pastrnak finishes the tournament with a goal and four points in foue games. Bruins 2015 top draft pick Jakub Zboril finished with a point. Eighteen-year-old goaltender Daniel Vladar didn’t see any action in the tournament.

*Defending champion Canada was eliminated by Finland, 6-5. The Fins will face Sweden, who beat Slovakia, 6-0, in its quarterfinal match. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson had two points in the win.

*Jake DeBrusk posted a game-high five points (3-2) in Red Deer’s 10-0 win over Brandon in WHL play on Saturday night. DeBrusk has five goals and 10 points in four games since being traded to Red Deer from Swift Current. He had just a goal and three points in eight games leading up to the trade.

Kicking Around the Minors: Weekend Roundup

The preliminary round of the World Junior Championships kicked off on Saturday, and there’s plenty of Bruins representation in the 40th installment of the tournament, with seven players whose rights are controlled by Boston heading out to Helsinki.

Here are some highlights from the first weekend of play:

*The Czech Republic, seeking its first medal since 2005, is represented by the two most recent first draft picks by the B’s, in David Pastrnak (25th overall, 2014) and Jakub Zboril (13th, 2015). Daniel Vladar, who the Bruins took at 75th overall in 2015, is backing up Vitek Vanecek in goal.

The Czechs notched their first win of tournament play on Monday, a 2-0 win over Slovakia. Pastrnak, coming off a foot injury that sidelined him for two months, scored the winning goal with 3:02 remaining in the second period, with Juraj Siska in the box for tripping. Zboril, who was ejected in the first period of the Czech’s opener against Russia, a 2-1 loss, assisted on the goal. David Kase, a Philadelphia Flyers prospect, also was awarded an assist.

*Bruins prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored a goal as Sweden hung a snowman on Switzerland, an 8-3 win, on Saturday. Karlsson, a 2015 second-round pick in his freshman season at BU, scored with 12:50 left in the second period to put the Swedes ahead, 6-2.

The stars of the win were brothers Alex and William Nylander, sons of former Bruin Michael Nylander. Alex, the younger of the duo, assisted on four goals while William opened the scoring 1:21 into the game. William was drafted eighth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by Toronto. He has an AHL-leading 34 points (14-20) in 27 games for the Toronto Marlies. Alex is projected to be selected in the top half of the first round of the 2016 draft. His 49 points in 33 games leads the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL.

*Team USA, who hasn’t medaled since winning Gold in 2013, opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over defending champion Canada.

With the Yanks down, 1-0, BC freshman and Hanover, Mass. native Colin White scored the equalizer with 3:27 remaining in the second, the assists coming from former BC recruit Sonny Milano and Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak. Team USA went on to score three third-period goals to seal the win.

Team USA is represented by B’s prospects Brandon Carlo, Anders Bjork, and Ryan Donato. Also on the team is Chad Krys (BU ’98 commit), Brandon Fortunato (BU), Charlie McAvoy (BU), White (BC), and Ryan Hitchcock (Yale).

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The Providence Bruins emerged from the Christmas break with a pair of losses over the weekend, falling to Albany (NJ), 4-1, on Saturday before losing to Bridgeport (NYI), 4-3 on Sunday.

*Austin Czarnik scored the Bruins lone goal on Saturday, his ninth of the season. The 23-year-old now has 19 points in 24 games, ranking third on the team. Of the 18 players to appear in 20-plus games for the P-Bruins in 2015-16, he’s the lone plus player (plus-3).

*Seth Griffith factored in all three Providence goals on Sunday, with a goal and two assists. He now has a team-leading 27 points in 24 games. Sixteen of those points have come in the last nine games.

Griffith, who played 30 games for the varsity in 2014-15, could be setting himself up for a promotion. Stay tuned.

*Zack Phillips had his first multi-point game of the season, with a goal and assist. He had five last season, his first in Providence.

*Zane McIntyre got his first start in two weeks on Sunday. He turned aside 24 of the 28 shots the Sound Tigers sent his way, suffering his first loss since Nov. 22. The rookie out of North Dakota is 5-5-3 on the season with a .886 save percentage and 2.94 GAA.

*Former BU netminder Matt O’Connor, who out-dueled McIntyre in the 2015 NCAA semifinal at the TD Garden, got the winning decision for Binghamton (OTT) on Saturday night, a 4-2 win over Hartford (NYR), making 24 saves. The 23-year-old is just 3-9-2 this season, stopping pucks at a .881 rate, but has wins in three of his last four starts, allowing seven goals and posting a .936 save percentage.

*Jake DeBrusk, who the Bruins took with the 14th overall pick, made his debut with the Red Deer Rebels (WHL) on Sunday night, after being traded to Red Deer from Swift Current. DeBrusk scored a goal and assisted on another in the Rebels’ 5-4 win over Edmonton, though he was also on the ice for two of the Oil Kings’ four goals. The 19-year-old forward has 10 goals and 28 points in a combined 25 games between Swift Current and Red Deer.