Toronto Marlies forward Kasperi Kapanen scored at 1:33 of overtime to give host Finland a 4-3 win over Russia and the gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships in Helsinki on Tuesday.
It was Finland’s second gold in the last three years.
"This is a big thing for all Finns, not just for Finnish hockey," Kapanen told IIHF.com. "The attention we’ve got has been overwhelming."
Kapanen has five goals and five assists in 10 games with the AHL’s Marlies this season.
Finnish captain Mikko Rantanen scored with 2:09 left in regulation to give his team a 3-2 lead before Russia tied it late. Rantanen, one of the top rookies in the AHL this season, has recorded 10 goals, 16 assists and a plus-17 rating in 22 games for the San Antonio Rampage in 2015-16.
Milwaukee Admirals forward Vladislav Kamenev, captain of the Russian squad, scored for his team in the loss. Russia settled for the silver but medalled in the World Juniors for the sixth consecutive tournament.
Earlier in the day, the United States defeated Sweden, 8-3, to earn the bronze medal. Lake Erie Monsters forward Sonny Milano tallied an assist in the win and finished the tournament with eight points in seven games. Ontario Reign rookie Adrian Kempe notched two assists for Sweden in the loss.