Hurricanes Prospect Aho Carries Finland to Gold Medal Game

Carolina Hurricanes prospect and Finnish Liiga MVP runner-up, Sebastian Aho, looked ready for his NHL debut next season as he scored twice to lead Team Finland past Russia and into the IIHF World Championships gold medal game.

It’ll be a re-match against a Canadian team, which beat the USA 4-3 to make it to the final, coached by Hurricane head coach Bill Peters. The Canadians will be looking for retribution after the Finnish team spanked Team Canada 4-0 in their final round-robin game.

The game didn’t start well for the Finns, going down 1-0 in the first period, but they stormed back in the second, with two power-play goals from Aho, and held off the Russians for a 3-1 final score.

This kind of success on a world stage isn’t new for Aho, especially recently. At the world junior championships earlier this year Aho and top NHL Draft prospect Patrik Laine led Finland to a gold medal, and along with world juniors MVP Jesse Puljujarvi, made up the top three scorers in the tourney.

Team Finland is also just one win away winning the World Junior Championship, the World Championship and Under-18 World Championship in the same year – an unprecedented feat in the IIHF.

This season in Finland’s Liiga, playing for Kärpät, Aho finished second in league MVP balloting behind 33-year old forward Kristian Kuusela of Tappara.

The IIHF World Championships gold medal game is Sunday at 1:15 p.m. ET.