Feb 13, 2014, 7:22 AM EDT
Austria was able to match Finland blow-for-blow for the first 10 minutes of Thursday’s contest, then the Finnish squad pulled away en route to an 8-4 blowout.
Austrian forward Thomas Vanek was understandably upset and he was hard on goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum.
“We started great and then gave up easy goals. We gave up too many shots from the middle and our goalie couldn’t control them,” Vanek said, according to the Olympic News Service. He added, “For us to beat a team like Finland, (Starkbaum) needs to be our best player.
“I thought that he was good but not great. That is not a knock on him, that is just reality.”
Starkbaum is 27 years old and has never played professionally in North America. He wasn’t drafted by an NHL club and instead got his start in the Austrian league. He was playing in the Swedish Hockey League before joining his nation’s Olympic team.
The Austrian goaltender faced 52 shots against a Finnish team loaded with NHL talent.
- Byfuglien to have phone hearing for Miller cross-check 28
- Patrick Kane is practicing today 24
- NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night 22
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller 58
- Video: Byfuglien gets away with ugly cross check, penalized late in Jets loss to Rangers 32
- Video: Lucic scores late winner, Bruins deal crushing blow to Panthers playoff hopes 9
- Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons 18
- ‘Almost like a game seven tonight’ for Bruins, Panthers 15
- Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack 48
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 22