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Just Finn, baby: Finland medals again, routs U.S. for bronze

Feb 22, 2014, 12:25 PM EST

Finland AP

All Finland does at Olympic hockey tournaments is win medals.

On Saturday, the Finns became the first country to medal four times since NHLers began participating 16 years ago, trouncing the Americans 5-0 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in the bronze medal game.

After a scoreless opening period, Finland broke out early in the second when Teemu Selanne scored the first of his two goals just 1:27 into the frame. Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds later to give the Finns a 2-0 lead, and they broke the game wide open in the third period with three goals in a seven-minute span from Jusso Hietanen, Selanne (his fourth of the tournament) and Olli Maatta.

Tuukka Rask, back in goal after missing Saturday’s semifinal loss to Sweden with illness, stopped all 27 shots faced for his first shutout of these Olympics.

As mentioned above, the win caps off a remarkable 16-year stretch for the Finns: bronze at Nagano ’98, silver at Turin ’06, bronze at Vancouver ’10 and bronze once again in Sochi. The Finnish performance at this tournament was very impressive, especially considering the team was ravaged by injury — Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay’s Valtteri Filppula were ruled out by injury just prior to the start of the Games, and Florida rookie Aleksander Barkov was shelved during the group stage following a knee ailment. Finland’s only two losses in this tournament came to the teams playing for gold, too — they lost 2-1 in OT to Canada in the group stage, and 2-1 to the Swedes in Friday’s semifinal.

While the Finns have much to be proud of, Saturday was a massive disappointment for the Americans.

After losing 1-0 to Canada in the semis on Friday, head coach Dan Bylsma said the goal was to come home with a bronze medal. But the U.S. never got its game on track against the Finns, exhibited by Patrick Kane missing a pair of penalty shots. The Americans also failed to score for the second game in a row, a startling reversal of fortune given they scored 20 goals over their first four games of the tournament, often looking like a dynamic offensive force.

U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick was on the hook for all five Finnish goals, making 24 saves in the loss.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Four comments:
    1) Sh!t
    2) Congratulations to Finland, to Rask, and especially to Teemu Selanne who retires after this season. Six Olympic appearances, 43 points in 36 games. Finland played great defensive hockey throughout the Games, and they deserve a medal.
    3) Congratulations, too, to Team USA. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They were shut down these past two games, and it is a disappointing end to their quest for a medal.
    4) Go, Canada!!!

    • nobandwagoners - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      You’ll see a lot of emotive reactions to the US loss but they were in it and playing well through the first. After the two poor plays by Suter (IMO) and the Finns taking a 2-0 lead, well, then the wheels fell off.

      Apart from the last 2 periods, the US played a very good Olympics. Too bad that they were unable to take home a medal to show for it.

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        I don’t blame Suter. I don’t blame any one individual player. Team USA lost.

        Finland was not to be sold short. Though they lost to Sweden in the semis, they played well – even without Rask. Great defense, little offense. That offensive drought sure changed in this game.

        Their game against Russia was the one by which to judge them. Again, little offense; however, their defense was excellent. I’ve never seen better stick-handling – between their blocked shots and how many times they simply took the puck off a Russian stick.

    • upper90cheese - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Horrific effort from the US. Must have hit the bottle pretty hard the night prior.

    • desertfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Worst team spirit ever displayed-sat and pouted for two periods and then started swinging their sticks at the better Finns!!!

      Only goal for USA was a hot shower.

      And they got it early.

  2. mc321984 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    One comment.

    I thought Quick had played in more pressure spots than Miller? Guess that didn’t translate

    • sixchr - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      You’re going to blame Quick for what happened to Team USA?

      • mc321984 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        yes. 5 goals isn’t exactly stellar. USA still needed to score themselves but a 1 or 2 goal game is easier to claw your way back than would be 4 to 5

      • mc321984 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        oh, and i was merely pointing out that Blysma’s reasoning to going with Quick was obviously flawed.

      • nflfan4now - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        I blame the coach for playing Quick. he wasn’t himself, 3 games in 4 days was too much. He was sprawling all over and over playing angles (he was out way too far on at least the 2nd and 5th goals). He had an excellent tournament, but it should have been Miller time today.

  3. wedf2014 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Arrogant capitalistic pigs!
    You were laughing at my players. They didn’t get any medals and neither did you.
    Vladimir Putin.

    • badgerhockey77 - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      How did communism work out for you Russians??? Yah, I thought so. For 74 years, the Russian sheeple believed in the lie of a ‘communist utopia’. One of those SHEEPLE was your beloved Czar Putin. Russia lost to the U.S. in hockey, just like Russia lost the Cold War. Lost…defeated…disgraced! Your system was a complete sham. RONALD REGAN!!!

      Anyways, onto hockey. Congrats to Teemu Selanne and Finland! Clearly, they were the better TEAM. Finland just keeps getting medals every Olympics. Very impressive indeed! No shame in losing to a superior Canadian team in a close game. They tried their best and lost. I’m okay with that. But, to completely TANK IT against Finland is embarrassing and unprofessional. How many NHL team captains were on the roster??? Where were they at??? They were sulking on the bench instead of inspiring the team.

  4. lowenni - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Pretty dissapointing to not see U.S. medal at all, especially after such great preliminary round performances. The offense did really dry up the past two games, although credit has to be given to Finland and Canada for the excellent defensive efforts they put forth. Even as an American, I’m really happy Selanne got a medal at his final Olympics and added to his points record with two goals today. We’ll get em in 2018!!

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Well said.

    • puregreed - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      After Finland handled them today, it sure looks like they had an easy draw. Not one team was able to medal from their group.

  5. smarshall3789 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Terrible this tournament has been awful for the USA expected gold and you don’t medal!!! I mean we would of taken bronze and been happy with it! They need to figure this out for the next Olympics! Maybe a new gm too cause he left out some good players! Not happy with the way this went at all should of at bronze at the very least!

  6. joey4id - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    What an ugly, pathetic, disgraceful, cowardly, disgusting, gutless, disappointing, and unprofessional performance by the country who gave us the “Miracle on Ice”. Time for a major autopsy at USA Hockey from top to bottom.

    • smarshall3789 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      Couldn’t agree more

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Time for a major autopsy on joey4id, Gary Bettman’s 11-year-old grandson.

      • joey4id - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        How insulting. I’m not Bettman’s 11 year old grandson. That would be my little brother, Jimmy. I’m actually Bettman’s 12 year old grandson, Joey. ;-)

    • crazemastercraze - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      They emulated any Flyers team over the last thirty years

    • wedf2014 - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      “Miracle on Ice” had been given to you by Russians in 1980. It was a fluke.

      • joey4id - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        Fluke or miracle? Hahahahaha! We’re you wearing diapers in 1980?

      • wedf2014 - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        To joye4id
        I was watching the whole game in 1980. It wasn’t like heroic American amateurs overcame the dreaded “Red Machine”. Both teams sucked but Russians sucked more.

  7. Stiller43 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Quick? Lets talk about the offense that scored 20 in 4 games then 0 when it counted.

    As a pens fan, it pains me to say it reminded me of the pens last year reg season vs ECF (same coach and vs the same goalie, diff players obviously…)

    Oh well, congrats to my boys olli maatta, big juicy jussi jokinen, and throw in selanne.

  8. joewilliesshnoz - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Typical Bylsma team not finishing, again.

  9. flyersfan67 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Way to go Finland. Although would have like to see you put and even bigger route on those arrogant Americans. Can’t wait to here all the excuses come out now , definetly their style

  10. bucrightoff - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    2 goals against Russia, Finland and Canada, none at even strength. Goalscoring, the fear coming in, turned out to be the issue after all.

  11. westof1club - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Now for Canada to go down to shut up the other half of the gloating windbags on PHT. Would’ve made my day for the US & Canada to miss a medal, but a silver for Canada is almost sweeter, can’t wait for all the excuses given for a failed quest for gold.

    • joey4id - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Canada’s men hockey team will definitely be carrying extra weight in the form of metal on the charter back to Canada. ;-)

    • imgoingtowichita - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      You must be the star on your mixed slo-pitch team.

  12. muckleflugga - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    the americans left it all in the sheets yesterday … yet they could have just as easily beat canada … they had enough chances to have won going away … price was positionally right and it paid off … quick gambled and lost … once

    after scoring first canada had the luxury of playing lock-down defensive hockey … babcock and team canada are suddenly world-beaters and favourites for gold … yet they’ve really had one really dominantly productive game in these olympics … genius

    if sweden scores first tomorrow look for the favour to be returned with canada scrambling to score … sweden’s coach and his team will be the day’s heroes and geniuses

    and no one can blame bylsma today … motivating players to produce a result after yesterday’s loss would have required promise of a firing squad for failure … in its way, today’s loss defines the extent to which winning mattered when real stakes … in an american sense … were at play

    in hockey at this level, gold and fourth place finishes are measured in bounces and fractions of inches … blame and talk about heart are misplaced in tournaments of this nature … i see the faces of teams eliminated … russian or american …

    i hurt for their hurt … always

    hats off and three cheers to the russians and the americans … champions in every respect … unlucky … always

    hip hip hooray hip hip hooray hip hip hooray

    tiger … hooray

    • leafsilluminati - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Atta boy! Let the butthurt flow through you!

    • puregreed - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      What dominant performance did the U.S have? Oh thats right they dominated a group of non-medalists.

  13. chicagocane - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Thank God. Can we now put Hockey back with the Christmas decorations where it belongs?

  14. flyerspsu - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Good for Timonen and Selanne, 6 time Olympians that are as respectable and professional players as can possibly be

  15. paperlions - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Winning a medal in the Olympics is hard. There are few games, and little room for mistakes. This is the 5th time NHL players have played in the Olympics and Canada only medalled in 2 of the previous 4; yes, both were gold, but they were shut out of the medals the other two times….despite probably having the best collection of players in every one of those games.

    I am not excusing any lack of effort or performance on the part of the US team today, but let’s be realistic…this is a hard mini-tournament to win…or even finish in the top 3.

  16. muckleflugga - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    for leafsilluminati

    note à moi

    ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la nôtre … voila toute la différence

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      translation:

      note to self

      do not sneer at the fools, their madness lasts longer than ours … voila all the difference

  17. hazlydose - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    USA just needed to get to their game!

  18. nolockoutpricks - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    if Rask would’ve played in the semis the fins would be playing for gold.

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