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Finland wins world junior hockey title, beating U.S. 3-2

Finland goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, top, celebrates his team's gold-medal win with Otto Latvala following the world junior hockey final against the United States in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday. (Jonathan Hayward / Associated Press)
Finland goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, top, celebrates his team's gold-medal win with Otto Latvala following the world junior hockey final against the United States in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday. (Jonathan Hayward / Associated Press)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Kaapo Kakko scored with 1:26 left to give Finland its fifth world junior hockey title, 3-2 over the United States on Saturday night.

Kakko broke a tie after the United States rallied on goals by Alexander Chmelevski and Josh Norris in a 1:46 span midway through the third.

Jesse Ylonen opened the scoring on a power play midway through the second period, and Otto Latvala made it 2-0 in the third – 1:01 before the U.S. began the rally.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves for Finland, and Cayden Primeau stopped 28 shots for the U.S.

Finland also won titles in 1987, 1998, 2014 and 2016. The U.S. won the last of its four titles in 2017.

In the third-place game, Kirill Slepets had a hat trick and Russia beat Switzerland 5-2.

Klim Kostin and Nikita Shashkov also scored for Russia, and Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 34 shots. Valentin Nussbaumer and Yannick Bruschweiler scored for Switzerland, and Luca Hollenstein made 19 saves.

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