Joel Armia scored the game's first goal Monday but Finland was overcome by USA Blue 5-4 at the United States National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. Mario Lucia paced Blue with a hat trick including the game winning goal in the final minute of play. Sean Kuraly and Alex Galchenyuk rounded out the scoring for Team Blue.
Armia scored at 8:39 of the opening period when Blue's mismanagement of the puck in their zone allowed Robert Leino to find the sniper in the slot for a point-blank wrister. Armia, 19, is considered one of Finland's headliners for the 2013 U20 squad in what will be his third World Junior Championship.
Shifty 2013 eligible Jussi Ikonen notched a pair of goals for Finland, while London Knights defender Olli Maatta tallied the other.
Finland returns to action Tuesday afternoon for a tilt with rival Sweden.
The Swedes made their Lake Placid debut Monday with a 5-1 dismantling of USA White. Victor Rask led the defending U20 champs with two goals. Pontus Aberg, Mika Zibanejad, and Viktor Arvidsson added singles for Team Sweden.
Minnesota commit Mike Reilly scored the lone goal for White to join Sabres prospect Jake McCabe as the only American defensemen in camp with a goal. McCabe and 2012 draft mate Logan Nelson were held off the scoresheet in the loss.
Phil Housley and the USA Hockey brass will conduct a cutdown Monday evening before preparing the trimmed down squad for the final three games of camp. McCabe was an average performer on a crowded blueline but could earn a spot on USA's final pair for the balance of the week. Nelson seems like a longer shot despite a good camp showing, an experience that will translate well as he kicks off what should be his final year of major-junior.
Details to follow as the cuts are announced.