Sochi recap: Men’s ice hockey, USA-Finland

Finland thrashed USA by five goals to nil to secure the bronze medal.

Date: 22-Feb

Sport: Men’s ice hockey

Event: USA-Finland

Score: USA 0 Finland 5

What happened:

Both teams started the game well, both Quick and Rask being tested early on. USA came into it more as Selanne was penalised for tripping. They found the Finnish defence hard to break down and couldn’t make the most of their man advantage. Finland were restored to full strength and nearly scored themselves. An absolute scramble for the puck saw Quick make numerous saves to deny Finland. Kesler then made a save that his team mate Quick would’ve been proud of, using his body to block on the line.

USA were then awarded a penalty shot after a broken stick was deliberately hit into the path of Kesler. Patrick Kane stepped up, and attempted a backhand effort but Rask covered his post well and knocked it wide. Pacioretty then had a one on one opportunity with just minute remaining in the period but could not keep the puck on target.

Finland started the second period with lightning speed. Selanne received the puck from Granlund and made it 1-0 on 01:27 gone in the period. It got even better just 11 seconds later as Jokinen made it two, firing in from a central position with Quick nowhere near saving.

USA had a chance to get back in it after some relentless pressure inside the Finnish zone. Patrick Kane went one on one, but a Finnish defender deliberately swiped his stick away as he was about to shoot. A penalty shot was awarded again, with Kane stepping up after his previous miss. He struck the post this time around as his drought continued. They ground away at Finland for the rest of the period but were up against a defence that was desperate to secure a medal.

With five seconds left of the period, USA thought they’d scored as the referee decided on a video review. The puck had hit the outside of the net as Finland’s shut out remained intact. USA had 10 shots in the period, compared to Finland’s 12.

As the third period started, Finland came closest to scoring. Selanne struck the post three minutes in, as USA failed to clear their lines. After Kane was given a two minute penalty for tripping, Finland made it 3-0. Hietanen shot from distance, and the puck travelled through four players and past Quick. It was becoming a tournament to forget for the USA, in the space of two games they had gone from potential finalists to empty handed. Selanne made it four just minutes later, during another powerplay. Granlund to Selanne was the combination as he struck from close range.

At this point, USA had completely lost their discipline. Another powerplay for Finland saw them make it 5-0. The puck was slipped to Maatta, who smashed low past Quick, who again got nowhere near. It could have got worse for USA, but it ended 5-0. After such a positive start to the tournament for the American players, they will be disappointed with how it ended as Finland secured the bronze medal.

Summary and statistics

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