Selanne double as Finns crush US for bronze
By Greg Heakes ,AFP
February 24, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
SOCHI, Russia -- Teemu Selanne scored twice as Finland crushed the U.S. 5-0 to claim the bronze medal in the men's hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday.
The 43-year-old Selanne, who was playing in his final Olympic game, now has a record 43 career Winter Games points, the most for any player in the men's tournament.
“Twenty-six years ago I played my first national team game, and it's been a great journey so far, and this is a great ending,” said Selanne who is now second all-time in Olympic games played with 37, two behind leader and fellow Finn Raimo Helminen.
Selanne also became just the sixth player to win four medals in the Olympic hockey tournament. He said this one even tops the silver medal he won in 2006 in Turin, Italy.
“I'd rather win bronze than lose for the silver,” he said. “It's the best feeling so far of my career with the national team.”
Selanne and Jussi Jokinen scored just 11 seconds apart in the second period for Finland who won their fifth medal in the past six Winter Games.
Selanne scored on a backhand and Jokinen on a one-timer from the high slot for Finland who avenged a 6-1 loss to the U.S. in the Vancouver semi-finals four years ago.
Selanne scored again on the powerplay halfway through the third from in close after taking a nice pass from Mikael Granlund at the Bolshoi Ice Dome arena.
Tuukka Rask was back in goal for Finland Saturday, stopping 27 shots, including two penalty shots, for the shutout.
Rask missed Friday's semi-final defeat against Sweden with what is believed to be the flu.
American Zach Parise said they were too passive.
“We had no jam in our play and no speed in our skates,” said Parise.
U.S. forward Patrick Kane failed to score on two penalty shot chances for the Americans.
The U.S. was given the first penalty shot in the opening period after defenceman Kimmo Timonen shot a broken stick at puck carrier Ryan Kesler.
Kane got the second one with 6:24 gone in the second period when Leo Komarov caught him from behind on a breakaway and chopped his stick in half.
Kane tried to deke but shot wide on the first attempt and hit the goal post on the second penalty shot.
“The first one the puck kind of rolled on me, I thought I had him,” said Kane. “The second one, I made a good shot, I just hit the post. A really frustrating night.”
Juuso Hietanen and Olli Maata also scored in the third for Finland who won their sixth overall medal.
The U.S. was shutout for the second game in a row after scoring a tournament-leading 20 goals in the first four games.
“I don't know, I think it started yesterday. We didn't show up to play a tough team in Canada,” said Parise of their 1-0 loss in the semis.
“And today, I thought we had a pretty good start, but once we got down, they got that first goal, we kind of deflated.
“They played like they had something to win, and we just kind of shut it down.”
Defending champions Canada and Sweden square off for the gold medal on Sunday.