The U.S. didn’t waste any time to open the scoring as Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn.) converted on Team USA’s first shot of the game just 50 seconds into play. Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) brought the puck into the zone and dished it off to Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills, Mich.), who circled back up the boards and fed the puck to an oncoming Skjei for a one-timed slapshot that squeaked past Finland goaltender Veini Vehvilainen’s right pad.
Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.) then doubled the U.S. lead at the 10:36 mark with a sharp-angled shot from below the goal line. Eichel was again behind the play, this time winning a faceoff to the right of goal that allowed Gaudreau to collect the puck and skate down low before banking a shot off Vehvilainen’s back and into the top corner.
DeBrincat looked to give the U.S. a three-goal lead with six minutes to play in the first period off a one-timer right in front, but it was saved by Vehvilainen.
Finland cut Team USA’s lead in half with 55 seconds left in the first period when Harri Pesonen rushed down the left wall and tucked a shot under the arm of U.S. goaltender Schneider.
With the U.S. leading 2-1, Larkin had a breakaway opportunity four minutes into the middle frame that drew Vehvilainen before the puck bounced off his stick and away from goal.
Just minutes later, Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo.) nearly regained a two-goal U.S. lead when he and James van Reimsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) connected for a 2-on-1 opportunity that was turned away. Moments later, Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) joined in on the offensive press with a semi-breakaway chance right in front, but the score remained, 2-1.
Finland equalized with 30 seconds left in the second when Sakari Manninen fed the puck into the slot, where Niko Ojamaki fired a one-timer over Schneider’s right shoulder and into goal.
Neither team scored in the third period as the game entered extra time. Team USA’s best chance in the third frame came from Frank Vitrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) with less than 10 minutes to play in the third, but his rebound attempt was blocked.
The extra frame saw both teams generate scoring chances before Larkin collected a pass from Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.), skated into the slot and tucked a quick-wristed effort beneath Vehvilainen’s right arm for the game-winning goal.