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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.


Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: HTTP://TWITTER.COM/LARRYLAGE


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California Granny February 24 2014 at 3:50 PM


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karen and pitts February 23 2014 at 9:47 AM

why no bronze medal at medal ceremony? only gold and silver? only two teams present?

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rkelly6448 February 23 2014 at 4:33 AM

Signs the Finns up for the NHL.

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maternatura February 23 2014 at 3:52 AM

Sorry to admit it, NOT. I was rooting for the Finns.

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HEY BOB February 23 2014 at 1:05 AM

Yes sir the finns were really tough...................... (Ranger fan)

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Stephen February 23 2014 at 12:30 AM

The Finns are tough athletes, per ca-pita in population, they have metaled more then anyone!

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brehas2 February 22 2014 at 11:05 PM

Before the advent of widespread use of drugs in America, we use to win tons of medals. Now, our youths are burned out before they can compete.

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maternatura February 23 2014 at 3:49 AM

There are a lot bigger reasons than drugs. We've got a country of ever-widening couch potatoes (I'm guilty) that would rather watch sports and eat chips, wings & beer than actually participate. The military has been having trouble filling its ranks with fit recruits. Not many kids go outside to play anymore. When I was a kid during the summer we stayed out all day until dark. Even winter we stayed out all day sledding. Mom handed us cocoa and sandwiches out the backdoor for lunch which we ate in the igloos we made. Besides we only had one TV in the house and Dad ruled about what we saw.

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DANTHALER February 22 2014 at 10:58 PM

Finland is a good team. They beat team Russia, but I really expected team USA to medal. I didn't see the game so what can I say. It seems like not only did we not bring our a+ game, or even our a game. Well Finland DID apparently, or we just brought our b- game. It's the Olympics. The athletes are super pumped, and if your not totally pumped too, you just might loose, like team USA did.

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Joe February 22 2014 at 8:02 PM

I would like to know just how many of these Olympians live and train in the USA.

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benaroundsum February 22 2014 at 7:40 PM

What a disgraceful display of lack of heart. You "professionals" should be ashamed! You embarrassed the United States today.

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