The first period proved to be the Kristian Vesalainen show. Just eight minutes in, Vesalainen got the first goal of the contest when he beat David Hrenak over the glove. A few minutes later, he scored a very similar goal, this time giving Finland the 2-0 lead. A prospect with HIFK in Finland, the 15-year-old still has to wait until 2017 to hear his name called at the NHL draft, but he should be an early selection when the day finally does come.
Finland would grab the three goal lead 7:56 into the second. Ilves prospect Joona Koppanen got his first point of the tournament, turning Juha Jääskä’s pass into a goal to make it 3-0. Slovakia would get their only goal of the game on the power-play about six minutes later when Samuel Solensky recorded just the second Slovak goal of the tournament. The excitement didn’t last for long, as Vesalainen recorded the hat-trick just 13 seconds later to make it 4-1 Finland.
Finland scored their fifth and final goal of the game just three minutes into the second. With Slovakia’s Martin Krempasky sitting in the box for holding the stick, Tarmo Reunanen made it 5-1 to finish off the dominant Finnish victory. The win meant that the Finns, who sit with a 2-1-1-0 record after four games, will move onto the semi-finals on Friday, while Slovakia will play in a placement game instead.
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