Team Finland won an absolutely wacky game at the World Junior Summer Showcase on Tuesday, defeating the U.S. 7-6 in a shootout.
After the game, Red Wings prospect Eemil Viro spoke with me and the Detroit News’s Nolan Bianchi regarding the utterly insane result, his hope that Finland can win a tournament that everyone is taking very seriously, his goal scored for the Finns, whether he’s staying with TPS Turku of the Liiga for another season (he isn’t sure at this time, but he wants to stay home for one more year) and the skills that he feels he has to improve upon:
Viro was the most impactful player on the ice in terms of the Red Wings’ prospects; there’s no doubt that he needs to add more strength and physicality to his game, but he’s mobile as all hell get out, he has experience playing against men with TPS Turku, and he did score a long-bomb goal that gave Finland a very brief lead in a game where the lead was a hot potato.
Carter Mazur looked strong and solid as a penalty-killer and shift disturber for the U.S. While he wasn’t able to earn a ton of ice time due to the oodles of special teams play during the game, when he did get a regular shift, he looked like the heart-and-soul player that the Wings envision him to be;
And Cross Hanas continued to earn looks on the U.S. penalty-kill, which is something new for the Portland Winterhawks winger. Hanas still has to work on his skating a bit as he can be caught flat-footed transitioning from defense to offense, but he possesses strong two-way instincts, he can shoot and pass well, and his all-round ceiling is fairly high as a second-line forward who can provide a good two-way game.