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Finland routs US 5-0 for Bronze in Olympic hockey

Finland Blows Out USA For Bronze Medal

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Teemu Selanne scored two goals and Tuukka Rask had a 27-save shutout, helping Finland rout the United States 5-0 Saturday to win hockey bronze at the Sochi Games.

Selanne, a 43-year-old, six-time Olympian, and Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds apart early in pivotal second period after a scoreless first. The Finns had three goals in the third against a team that looked like it would rather be at home.

Finland has won four medals in the last five Olympics, more than any other nation in the NHL era.

Before the third-place match became a rout in the final period, it was a game of missed opportunities for the Americans.

Patrick Kane couldn't convert on a penalty shot in each of the first two periods for the U.S. He missed the net to the right on his first one-on-one duel and hit the right crossbar on his second.

The Americans wasted a chance to earn medals in consecutive Olympic hockey tournaments for the first time since winning gold in 1960 and silver in 1956.

Finland, meanwhile, took advantage of two power plays in the third period with goals to put the U.S. away in game it didn't look interested in competing in after falling behind 2-0.

If the league and players' union do not let the world's best players go to South Korea in four years, Kane and Co. may never get a shot to help the Americans win gold that has been elusive since the "Miracle on Ice," in 1980 when it beat Finland after their historic upset of the mighty Soviet Union in the semifinals.

Jonathan Quick, starting ahead of silver-medal winning goaltender Ryan Miller, stopped all eight shots that got to him in the first before giving up five goals on just 21 shots over the last two periods.

Selanne, who has said he will retire after playing for the Anaheim Ducks this season, skated off the ice in Sochi for the final time with 20 seconds to play and hugged two teammates on the bench before leaping back over the boards at the final buzzer.

While someone behind the Finns' bench threw a slew of white sheets paper high into the air, the team gathered around Rask's net for a jubilant celebration of their latest medals.

From the ice, Selanne reached over the boards to embrace every assistant coach and executive on Finland's bench. The popular player got lifted off his skates more than once by hugs. The predominantly Russian crowd, who couldn't root for the home team, roared in support of the Finns.

With bronze medals around their necks, Selanne, a first-time Olympic captain, led his team on a victory lap around the ice as the players threw bouquets of flowers to fans before posing for a picture at center ice.

The U.S. seemed set up to end its Olympic hockey championship drought, or at least come home with a medal, with players seemingly their prime.

It started well in the tournament, routing Slovakia, outlasting the host Russians in an eight-round shootout and cruising past Slovenia and the Czech Republic by a combined score of 20-6.

The Americans were humbled by defending champion Canada, which also beat them in the gold-medal game in 2010, with a 1-0 win that was more lopsided than the score indicated.

Then, they got embarrassed by Finland.

The U.S. seemed to bounce back from the crushing defeat to Canada with an inspired start, blocking shots with various parts of their bodies, including Phil Kessel's chest when he stood tall in an open net.

Selanne seemed to deflate the American' spirit with his backhander from the left circle that beat Quick's blocker for the first goal.

Before the U.S. could catch its breath, the Finns took a 2-0 lead 1:38 into the second period when Jokinen caught Quick out of place after a cross-ice pass by shooting into an open net from the right side.

Finland won bronze for the second straight Olympics and third time since 1998, the first with NHL players. It lost to rival Sweden in the 2006 gold-medal game and in Friday's semifinals.

The Finns were fired up for the consolation prize and weren't satisfied with a two-goal lead after two periods, pouring it on with Juuso Hietanen's goal 6:10 into the third - as a penalty on Kane was expiring - and the Finnish Flash scored for a second time less than two minutes later.

Selanne, the oldest player in the tournament, started the game with an Olympic record 41 points and extended his mark with a fantastic game.

Olli Maatta put Finland ahead 5-0 with 6:51 left in the game and U.S. coach Dan Bylsma left Quick in the game, leaving Miller staring expressionless across the ice from the bench.

---

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bignoseinc February 22 2014 at 5:22 PM

Come on you guys...Bysla must have been in a coma for the last two games. The very defination of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Kane is an amazing player but this was not his tournament. He and others got an incredible amount of ice time to be so unproductive. Bysla needed to try some other lines that had been more productive in the previous games. Kane and his line looked like beat down dogs.

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zeropoint6667 February 22 2014 at 5:29 PM

In the future, NHL must play for USA only!

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itsonlyreality February 22 2014 at 6:30 PM

I've always ethusiastically supported USA Hockey. But after this dismal performance by the men's team I don't know if I can. This team thoroughly embarrassed the nation with the lack of effort they put out against Finland. It's one thing to lose. But to lay down with the entire world watching is SHAMEFUL! It makes us look bad when our athletes don't try simply because they're not playing for the gold medal. I guess these guys will go home and count their money. But it doesn't change the fact that they are LOSERS!

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yofats50 February 22 2014 at 6:36 PM

couldnt agree more an olympic is a olympic medal regardless of color..any athlethe in the world,(except US hockey players) would be and should be very proud can't think of anyone who wouldn.t be proud if we need a gold so bad lets go back to the college kids least they won gold

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t1201600 February 22 2014 at 7:11 PM

Dan Bylsma should NEVER coach another Olympic hockey game. He was just awful! He should have pulled Quick and where was Dustin Brown?

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deano41369 February 22 2014 at 7:22 PM

GOOD LORD!

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grr8thr February 22 2014 at 3:55 PM

I don't think I'll watch Olympic hockey again as long as they use professional players. The play of the US team was beyond embarrassing! They are paid so well to play this game and they are a disgrace to our country with their lack of effort.

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qxz1214 February 22 2014 at 3:46 PM

Maybe they should have sent the 1980 hockey team back to these Olympics. They may be old and out of shape but they would have played with more heart than the current bunch.

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t1201600 February 22 2014 at 3:42 PM

Well, another humiliating Olympic performance by USA hockey. First, the US women couldn't hold a 2-0 lead with less than 5 minutes to play. Then the US men's team can't even score one goal in the last 2 games. Perhaps for the next Olympics we should save money and not even send hockey teams. They play like they weren't there, anyway.

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bzzzbayte February 22 2014 at 3:41 PM

THE UNITED STATES OLYMPIC HOCKEY TEAM QUIT ON THE ICE. NO EFFORT FROM THEM BRING BACK THE COLLEGE PLAYERS AT LEAST THEY GIVE EFFORT. NO LEADERS ON THE US TEAM. OVERPAID TEAM OF LOSERS. UNDER PERFOMERS AS USUAL.. NO MORE NHL PLAYERS IN THE OLYMPICS AGAIN. THEY ARE QUITERS.

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1 reply
xblndeeoo4x bzzzbayte February 22 2014 at 4:05 PM

Sounds like you're a bandwagon fan there pal... T.J Oshie played his ass off...Not to mention Quick did a hell of a job. Patrick Kane just lost his grandfather. Why not remember they are human dude...You're probably one of the idiots that called the women's team crybabies. Real hockey fans know better! The game was brutal to watch but, I watched & I'm a diehard Blackhawks fan so if Canada gets the gold tomorrow I'll be yelling Congrats J.T, Sharp, Keith hell even Sydney Crosby & I'm not even a Penguins fan. But, he is a hell of a player. I’ll give you it they weren’t even close to being up to par but, calling USA teams a bunch of losers is a stretch…

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