Americans beats Finns in world junior tune-up; Canada to play Russia in exhibition

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EDMONTON — Cole Caufield scored two goals in a 35-second span, and the United States held on to beat Finland 3-2 in a world junior hockey championship tune-up game on Tuesday at Rogers Place.

Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Americans, who finished sixth in the Czech Republic last time out after a 1-0 loss to the Finns in the quarterfinals.

Juuso Parssinen and Topi Niemela had goals for Finland, which lost 3-2 in the bronze-medal game against Sweden in 2020.

Dustin Wolf split time in net with American starter Spencer Knight, who stopped 7-of-9 shots in 35 minutes. Wolf made seven saves.

Knight and Wolf are two of eight returning players for the U.S.

Kari Piiroinen kicked out 26-of-29 shots in two period of work for Finland. Roope Taponen came in for the third and stopped all 16 shots his way.

Meanwhile, Switzerland edged Austria 3-2 in Tuesday's other exhibition game.

Canada, last year's gold-medal winner, will face the silver medallists from Russia on Wednesday in its only pre-tournament game.

The 2021 tournament officially opens on Friday with three preliminary-round games — the U.S. against Russia, Finland against Germany and Slovakia versus Switzerland. The Canadians open round-robin play against the Germans on Saturday.

Parssinen opened the scoring for the Finns just 1:26 into the game while Kaliyev sat in the box for checking from behind.

Finland took the next four minor penalties, and Kaliyev snapped home a goal while on an American power play to even the scoreboard at 19:54 of the period.

Caufield scored his first at 1:04 of the second period, then made it 3-1 for the U.S., at 1:39.

Niemela got one back for Finland, its second power-play goal of the night at 8:23.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press