UFA – Finland scored three first-period goals and never looked back en route to walloping Slovakia 11-4 in Friday’s seventh-place game at Ufa’s Sports Palace.
Joel Armia led the way with a hat trick and an assist, while Markus Granlund chipped in three assists, and Teuvo Teräväinen had two goals and two assists. Those three forwards ranked 1-2-3 respectively in tournament scoring prior to the bronze and gold medal games on Saturday.
Miikka Salomäki and Olli Määttä also had three-point games.
The Finns led 6-0 early in the second period, but Bruno Mraz, who paced Slovakia with a goal and two assists, spoiled Joonas Korpisalo’s shutout bid near the midway point.
It was a disappointing ending for both teams. The Finns had come in with one of their most highly touted rosters in years, and the Slovaks turned some heads with strong early efforts against Russia and Canada. But neither of them could deliver on their promise and wound up in the Relegation Round.
The last time the Finns came seventh was 2009. Slovakia has been eighth in three out of the past four years, 2012 being an exception.
Finland’s last World Junior medal came in 2006 (bronze), while Slovakia’s last one was in 1999 (bronze).