Friday, April 23, 2010

Pulkkinen hatty keys Finland to bronze, USA up 2-0 in GMG (in progress)

Teemu Pulkkinen scored his 8th, 9th and 10th goals of the tournament in a sound 5-1 thrashing of Russia in the bronze medal game of the World Under-18 Championship in Minsk, Belarus today.

Also, Mikael Granlund posted a goal and two assists to close out the tournament with 13 points. Pulkkinen leads the tourney with 10 goals and 15 points in six games.

Finland was a very good offensive team, which makes Jack Campbell's shutout (and the play of his defense in front of him in limiting them to just 14 shots) all the more remarkable.

Russia mailed it in and apparently gooned it up at the end according to the box score.

The gold medal game between USA and Sweden is underway, with USA up 1-0 (Luke Moffat from Derek Forbort and Rocco Grimaldi), but apparently, Sweden's Henri Snäll took a vicious hit from Austin Watson that earned the power forward prospect a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding.

I'm going to be out of the net for awhile, but will update the final later. USA will be hard-pressed to keep the lead with that long of a shorthanded situation, and will need Campbell to be the best penalty killer.

We shall see if they can hang on, or if this hit becomes the game's key turning point.

You can follow the action live at:

USA survived the five minute major and are up 1-0 after one period, but are without Watson's services for the rest of the game. Hope Snäll is OK-- don't know if he returned to the game or not, but from the sounds of it, didn't look good for him. All the best to him in hopes that he didn't suffer a major injury on the play and can have a speedy recovery.

Justin Faulk just scored at 7:31 of the second to give USA a 2-0 lead (Austin Czarnik and Nick Shore with the helpers). Faulk is one of those defenders who doesn't get as much mention as Derek Forbort, Jon Merrill, or Jarred Tinordi, but is a key ingredient of the glue that forms this dominant blue line corps.

Here's something I did up on Faulk recently.

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