Florida Panthers prospect Aleksi Heponiemi scored a goal in Finland’s 4-2 loss to Canada in the Group A opener for both teams at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY.
Heponiemi was chosen by the Panthers in the second round (40th overall) in the 2017 Entry Draft. He is the only Florida draft choice taking part in this year’s tournament.
Canada with a 3-1 lead over Finland after 20 minutes. Much more speed, intensity and improved power play will be needed from the Finnish team in the coming periods. #FlaPanthers prospect Aleksi Heponiemi with the goal in the first. #WJC2018 pic.twitter.com/8cdc6WVx2m— Finnish jr hockey (@FINjrhockey) December 26, 2017
Heponiemi’s goal came 12:19 into the second period and cut Canada’s lead to 2-1. The 18-year-old, who is the midst of a huge season (71 points in 29 games) for the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, finished the game with a -1 rating and logged exactly twenty minutes of ice time.
In other day one results from the WJC, Sweden crushed Belarus 6-1, the Czech Republic edged Russia 5-4, and the defending champions, the United States destroyed Denmark by a 9-0 count.
The Panthers will hold an 11 a.m. practice on today at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs. So, if you are off from work stop by and see the team prep for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.