Team USA forward Nick Bjugstad

Finland beats United States 4-1 at world junior men’s hockey championship

Finland upset the United States 4-1 in a Pool B preliminary-round game Wednesday at the world junior hockey championship.

EDMONTON — Finland upset the United States 4-1 in a Pool B preliminary-round game Wednesday at the world junior hockey championship.

The Americans are considered one of the tournament favourites and the Finns more of a dark horse in the field.

But Finland and the U.S. were both 1-1 in Pool B with Canada (1-0) facing the Czech Republic (1-0) later.

Joel Armia, a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, led the Finns with two goals and an assist. Mikael Granlund, another first-round selection of the Minnesota Wild, and Nashville Predators property Mikka Salomaki also scored.

Brandon Saad of the U.S. temporarily tied the game early in the second period, but Armia’s first goal at 10:53 of the third period put the Finns ahead again.

Sami Aittokallio made 38 saves on 39 shots in Finland’s net for the win. John Gibson allowed four goals on 27 shots in the American net.

Both countries have Thursday off before Finland meets Denmark and the U.S. faces the Czechs on Friday.

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