Armia shines as Finns win

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | 12/28/2011

Joel Armia scored two goals including the game winner Wednesday and added an assist as Finland shook off a loss in their World Junior Championship opener with a 4-1 victory over Team USA. The win was the Finns first over the Americans in six years at the U20 tourney.

Armia (#10) was excellent in keying the Finnish offense. After a scoreless first, the 6'3 wing absorbed a hit to advance the puck deep, went to the front of the net, and won a battle below the goal line against two USA defenders to assist on Finland's first goal just 81 seconds into the middle frame.

After USA tied the game in the early third, Armia would show deadly transition skills by accepting a pass and gaining enough separation to break in and score the game winner while using his left knee to thwart off the backcheck.

The big wing capped his performance with an insurance marker at 16:27 by jamming a loose puck underneath John Gibson and into the American net. Armia started the play with a nice effort on the boards to free up the puck before drifting to the net and tapping in the area pass. 

Armia, who now has two goals, an assist, two shots on goal, and a +3 rating through the first two tourney games, will look to continue his offensive stacking on Friday when the Finns take on Denmark.


bring back palffy said...

really, really cool that the NHL Network carries these games. i was struggling with my priorities between the sabs and can/cze last night. to my overly optimistic eye, you can really see armia's speed, skill and surprising strength translating into an effective NHL scoring role. a lingering question: can he fire that thing when he gets open?

Kris Baker said...

coming down the wing he sometimes looks like Vanek with a big's a thing of beauty when he DOES get it off. Against Canada, there was a play when he entered down the right side and probably needed to shorten it. Overall though, he does a good job getting space and getting LOTS of shots off in sm-liiga. Here's a quick playlist that highlights his finishing ability:

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