Kaapo Kakko continues to roll in the IIHF World Championships. The 18-year old right wing led Finland to a 3-1 win over Denmark in Slovakia earlier today.
He was involved in all three goals. After Mortin Madsen put Denmark ahead early in the second period, Kakko scored his sixth of the tournament to tie the game four minutes later. As the highlights show below, it was a brilliant goal in which Kakko used his speed and patience to maneuver around the Denmark defense and tuck the puck in around Dane goalie Sebastian Dahm.
Kakko helped set up Suomi’s second of the day. He dropped the puck for Mikko Lehtonen, who skated in creating two chances for Toni Rajala and goalscorer Sakari Manninen to convert on the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
With less than nine minutes left in the third period, Finland put it away. Pulling up at the circle, Kaako waited before firing a wrist shot that Harri Pesonen tipped in for the insurance marker. It was a well executed play.
Kakko finished with a goal and assist with two shots and a plus-three rating in 14:02. In four games, he leads Finland with seven points (6-1-7). That’s tied for sixth in scoring. His six goals are tied for first with Evgeni Dadonov of Russia.
The only game he didn’t hit the score sheet was in an overtime loss to Team USA. It wasn’t for lack of effort. A dominant OT shift during a three-on-one nearly produced the winner if not for Devils goalie Cory Schneider. Dylan Larkin won it.
USA has also played four times so far. Still no points for Jack Hughes. He had six shots in yesterday’s 6-3 victory over Great Britain. It’s again worth repeating that his role is very different from Kakko, who’s the Finnish headliner.
Tomorrow, Finland faces the British. The Americans have the day off to prepare for Denmark on Saturday. Games can be seen on NHL Network.