Sunday, December 30, 2012

Armia helps late in Finnish comeback

Joel Armia produced an assist with 1:40 left in regulation Sunday as Finland came from behind to earn a 5-4 shootout victory over Switzerland. The victory gives Finland five points through round robin play, keeping their hopes alive in the 2013 World Junior Championship. A regulation loss would have all but eliminated the Finns from medal contention.

Despite the late helper and a team-leading eight shots on goal, Armia has continued to see his effectiveness taper off after a solid outing in Finland's tourney-opening win versus Latvia. His success rate in the offensive zone was quite low for the second straight game, with his possessions more often than not resulting in Swiss takeaways. Adding insult to injury was a third period tripping penalty, Armia's second minor infraction of the game, that allowed the Swiss to take a 4-2 lead prior to the Finns mounting the comeback.

Armia was stopped in his shootout attempt before linemate Markus Granlund was able to beat Melvin Nyffeler to secure the victory and get the extra point for Finland.

The Finns move on to battle rival Sweden on Monday.