Joel Armia did not register a point Saturday as Finland defeated Team USA 3-2 in overtime to close out the United States National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. The 6'3 wing finishes his visit with a goal and eight penalty minutes in the week's five games. The win was Finland's first of the week.
Despite the statistical low (he posted a goal and three assists in four games at last year's camp), Armia still showed signs of what's to come by doing a good job shielding the puck and instinctively adding movement on the power play. He's strong at taking the puck off the half-wall to the slot and effectively rotates into position around the net without it. He unleashed a couple of wristers on Saturday that missed high. Overall you want to see him connect more while continuing to increase his even-strength compete level when the SM-liiga season begins next month.
Jake McCabe had another solid game for Team USA. The 6'1 defender was more conservative with the puck than earlier in camp and wisely chose spots to close-in offensively. His strong footwork (at one point he outraced Armia back to his own end to steer away an opportunity) and physical engagement drove his play, but it's hard to suggest that he stood out over any of the other bottom-pair candidates throughout the week. USA's U20 blueline crop is a very competitive group. An impressive start at Wisconsin this fall should keep McCabe right in the mix when USA makes their World Junior picks in December.