Rangers prospects to face off in the gold medal game at the WJC

New York Rangers prospects Braden Schneider and Brett Berard will face off for the gold medal on Tuesday

Team USA snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when Staten Island’s own Arthur Kaliyev scored the game winning goal over Finland with only 1:16 left in the game. The U.S. goal came in a third period dominated by Finland as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game late in the third. The final score was 4-3 and it means a Canada-United States gold medal game on Tuesday.

Finland was trying to do the same thing they did to Sweden in the quarterfinals, coming back from a 2-0 deficit with two third period goals to win 3-2.  In that game they scored the game winner with only 25 seconds left.

Team USA was on its heels the entire third period, outshot 17-9.  When they took a delay of game penalty with under five minutes left, it didn’t look good for the U.S. and when Finland scored to tie, all of the momentum was with them.

All it took was a hardworking shift by USA’s top line of Trevor Zegras, Alex Turcotte and Kaliyev as they won the puck battles.  Kaliyev is a sniper and when he called for the puck from the slot, he took the pass and lasered a shot in the upper right corner of the net, a perfect shot.

The third line with Brett Berard had another high energy game. Berard didn’t make the scoresheet, but his line was on the ice when linemate John Farinacci scored the crucial goal to put the USA up 2-1 15 minutes into the second period.

Berard played 12:12 on 20 shifts with one shot on goal.  Berard does not play late in games when the USA is protecting a lead, but his line is always the first one out after a goal is scored against the USA.

The gold medal game

Canada and the United States will play for the gold medal Tuesday at 9:30pm EST, televised on the NHL Network.  Rangers prospects Braden Schneider will face off against Berard for bragging rights.   Team USA has met Canada four times in the 45 years of the WJC.  Canada won in 1997, but the United States has taken the gold the last three meetings in 2004, 2010 and 2017.

Finland will play Russia at 5:30pm for the bronze medal, also on the NHL Network.