Aaron
Vickers
May 1, 2022

Havelid caps stunning tournament with gold on the final day of Under-18s

The yellow and blue is golden. 

Sweden captured gold at the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in a thrilling 6-4 win against Team USA on Sunday. 

Jonathan Lekkerimaki had four points (one goal, three assists), and Noah Ostlund and Liam Ohgren each scored twice in the victory to pace Sweden in the win, but it was goaltender Hugo Havelid and his massive effort that clinched things for his country.

Rutger McGroarty replied with two goals for the United States in the losing effort. 

Finland captured gold in a convincing 4-1 win against Czechia earlier in the day. Joakim Kemell scored twice and added an assist, and Jere Lassila added four points (two goals, two assists) to give the Finns a medal finish. Jiri Kulich, the tournament’s leading goal-getter, was kept off the board, and Topias Leinonen stopped 26 of 27 shots to net the win. It’s Finland’s first medal at the U18 Worlds since winning gold in 2018.

Here’s who stood out on the final day of the World Under-18’s:

Third star: Joakim Kemell – Finland

Kemell, who was in the penalty box when Team USA scored the game-winner in semifinal action on Saturday, rebounded quickly to help ensure Finland wouldn’t leave the tournament without a little additional carry-on. After Finland fell behind 1-0, Kemell scored consecutive goals to flip a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. He then set up Lassila’s goal to make it 3-1 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. Kemell finished the tournament with six goals and eight points in five games. 

Second star: Rutger McGroarty – Team USA

McGroarty, the American captain, left it all out on the ice in the tournament’s finale. With Sweden leading 4-2 late in the second period, McGroarty scored on a howitzer of a one-timer to trim the lead to one. Down 5-3 late in the third, McGroarty again scored from the slot to make it a one-goal game with just 3:11 remaining to give Team USA a chance before Lekkerimaki found the back of the empty net with 31 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach. McGroarty had eight goals and nine points in six games. 

First star: Hugo Havelid – Sweden

Four goals against couldn’t prevent Havelid earning this nod. The 2022 draft eligible goaltender was absolutely outstanding in the gold medal match, making 47 saves against the tournament’s top offense. He made 17 saves in the second period alone, and trumped that 20-minute effort by making 20 stops in the third — including over a half-dozen high-quality chances in odd-man situations. Havelid finished with a tournament-leading .929 save percentage. 

Highlight of the night

Ohgren saved his best for last. He took a return pass from Lekkerimaki and deked American goaltender Kenneth Augustine to the backhand to slip in his second of the game. Ohgren’s goal, coming midway through the third period, gave Sweden some much-needed insurance, as his 5-3 marker ended up serving as the game-winner in the golden match.

Reporting in: Oskar Pettersson – Sweden

Oskar Pettersson is playing a support role on this Swedish team, and it’s a role that suits him well and allows him to showcase his strengths. He plays a straightforward game built around speed, strength and pace. He’s usually engaged in the play in some way or another, working hard to be near the puck or to open up space for him teammates. He is capable of closing space on opponents, both on the forecheck and the backcheck, and is effective playing dump-and-chase hockey. When he gets the puck on his stick he’ll look for opportunities to bear down and drive it up the ice himself, and his hands are good enough to navigate through or around traffic occasionally. Pettersson can be a hard player to slow when he gets a head of steam going. He is capable of protecting and lugging around the puck in the cycle. He projects best long-term as a defensive forward and penalty killer, though he’ll be able to get involved in the scoring sometimes so long as he keeps driving hard to the net, with and without the puck. Pettersson is a no-brainer for the middle rounds of the draft because he has quite a safe floor, along with the potential to be a guy who plays up in a lineup if things click just right in his development. — Derek Neumeier


Day 1: HOWARD, KULICH MAKE STATEMENTS ON OPENING DAY OF UNDER-18S
Day 2: BEDARD, LEKKERIMAKI DOMINATE SECOND DAY OF UNDER-18S
Day 3: KULICH, HAVELID ADD SOME SPICE TO THE THIRD DAY OF THE UNDER-18S
Day 4: KEMELL TURNS IN BIG-TIME PERFORMANCE ON FOURTH DAY OF THE UNDER-18S
Day 5: COOLEY, HAVELID PUSH TEAMS INTO GOLDEN CHANCE ON FIFTH DAY AT UNDER-18S

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