12/20 Recap: Armia stars for Finns; McCabe steady

In Thursday action in Helsinki, Joel Armia was named his country's Player of the Game as host Finland defeated Canada 3-2 in an exhibition tilt in preparation for the World Junior Championship.

While on a five-on-three power play first period, Armia waltzed in between the circles with the puck, froze goaltender Malcolm Subban (BOS), and fed an open Markus Granlund with a cross-ice pass for the game's first tally, his only point of the game.

The 6-foot-3 winger scored five goals and seven points in seven games of the 2012 tourney. Finland continues their pre-tourney slate Saturday in Helsinki versus Team USA.

In the evening's closing contest, Jake McCabe finished with a plus-one rating as USA got past Sweden 3-2 in overtime.

The Wisconsin sophomore totaled an even 14:00 of action (p1 5:11, p2: 3:31, p3 5:18) while lining up with Connor Murphy (PHX) from the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. The low time-on-ice could be seen as a sign that coach Phil Housley is comfortable with McCabe, who was previously paired with Murphy for USA’s gold medal winning performance at the 2011 U18 World Championship. Perhaps he wanted to give other bubble candidates a deeper glimpse heading into Saturday's exhibition versus the Finns. 

For what it’s worth, McCabe was on the ice for the start of the four-on-phone overtime period. Final cuts are expected following Saturday's contest.
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