This is certainly not the ending that Team USA was looking for today, but unfortunately a medal was not in the cards for Team USA this year as they were swiftly defeated 5-0 by Team Finland. As a result, Team Finland will take home the Bronze Medal in the Men’s Ice Hockey Competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The first period was a lot of back and forth. Unfortunately, the only thing that was yielded in the first period was a bunch of penalties. One of which resulted in a penalty shot for Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane. Unfortunately for Team USA, he was not able to pull the trigger.
Team Finland started out the second period with a flash. Just 1:27 into the second period, Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne would score his first goal of the day with the assists from Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund and Phoenix Coyotes left wing Lauri Korpikoski.
Just under halfway throughout the second period, Patrick Kane would get his second attempt at a Penalty Shot after he was slashed by Finnish left wing Leo Komarov. Unfortunately, he was once again unable to pull the trigger.
In the third period, the Finns would strike early once again. Just over six minutes into the period, defenseman Juuso Hietanen would find his way to the back of the net with the assists from Carolina Hurricanes center Tuomo Ruutu and defenseman Sami Lepisto. This would give the Finns a 3-0 lead.
Just over 3 minutes later, the Finns would find themselves on the Power Play after St. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie was called off for two minutes for interference. Selanne would strike again with his second goal of the night. Once again, the assists on Selanne’s goal went to Granlund and Korpikoski.
The two teams would get a serious case of déjà vu about three and a half minutes later when Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter would find himself being called off for two minutes for High Sticking. Once again, the Finns would capitalize on the opportunity with a goal from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maata. The assists on Maata’s goal would go to Lehtara and Jokinen.
Thankfully, this goal would end the bleeding for the struggling US team; however, a lack of offensive production would prevent them from making any steps towards redemption.
This was a stellar game for Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask was able to stop all 27 Shots on Goal that were brought against him in this encounter. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
While I will concede that Quick was not exactly getting a lot of help in front of the net, this was a pretty dismal appearance for the Kings netminder.
Quick was only able to put a stop to 24 of the 29 Shots on Goal that were brought against him in this encounter, giving him a Save Percentage of just .827.
Following the game, Quick was pretty vocal about his dissatisfaction with his team’s play. According to Pro Hockey Talk’s Jason Brough, he was pretty critical of not just his team’s lack of production, but his own play as well.
“We’re professionals. We play back-to-backs all year long. There’s no reason we show up and not piss a drop.” Quick said. “My job is to stop the puck, and I didn’t do that very well. Team effort. We weren’t good.”
While this is certainly not the outcome that Team USA was looking for, these games have been far from a bust for the US team. While the team had struggled in their two final games of the tournament, they played some fantastic hockey this year, and have really put on a show for fans of hockey, not just here in the US, but on an international scale.
On the other side of the ice, the Finnish team is basking in the glow of their second straight Olympics with a medal in the Men’s Ice Hockey Competition, after winning the Bronze Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
This win ensured that Teemu Selanne, who was playing in his sixth and final Olympic Games of his storied career would leave Sochi with yet another piece of hardware. This also means that our very own Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo will bring home a medal for the second year in a row as well.
Next up, we have the Gold Medal game. Early in the morning on Sunday, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the number one seeded Team Sweden will walk into the Bolshoy Ice Dome to face off with Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis and Team Canada in a battle for the Gold Medal.
While walking away with the Silver is certainly nothing to scoff at, we all know which one these two teams would prefer to leave Sochi with.
Which team do you think is going to come out on top? Which player do you think is going to have the greatest impact on the outcome of the game for either team? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.