Young Lions book semi final berth after victory over USA

The team are looking to make history and win back-to-back World Championship gold medals.

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Joonas Oden (L) celebrates his winning goal in the quarter final against USA, 2nd January 2020 / Credit: Matt Zambonin IIHF

Finland’s Young Lions booked a place in the ice hockey U20 World Championships semi finals with a 1-0 victory against the USA.

It means the Americans leave the tournament without a medal, but the Finns have a shot at taking back-to-back golds.

Thursday night’s quarter final was a tense affair with the scores tied at 0-0 going into the third period. During a Finnish power play, Kristian Tanus assisted Joonas Oden to put the puck in the back of America’s net.

“They were leaving the middle place open, and we went through it in the intermission that I should be more in the middle” Oden told reporters after the game.

“I was wide open, and Tanus gave me a good pass and I just shot it top left corner” he said.

Finland’s U20 team has previously won golds in 1987, 1998, 2014, 2016 and 2019 but no team has won consecutive World Championship titles since Canada’s five year streak from 2005 to 2009.