Finland blanks US for men’s hockey bronze

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Teemu Selanne scored twice while Tuukka Rask recorded 27 saves for a shutout as Finland crushed the United States, 5-0, in the bronze-medal game of men’s hockey event at the Sochi Winter Games Saturday at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

The 43-year-old Selanne added a third bronze medal to his collection of hardware Saturday by scoring his third and fourth goals.

Selanne, who has already announced that this will be his last season in the NHL and his last Olympics, finishes his Olympic career with four medals and 24 goals in six tournaments.

He helped Finland win the silver medal in the 2006 Torino Olympics and the bronze medal in 1998 in Nagano, 2010 in Vancouver and now 2014, when he also served as the Finnish captain. He also played in the Olympics in 1992 and 2002.

Finland has won a medal in four of the five Olympics that have included NHL players and in five of the past six overall. Its haul includes one silver medal and four bronze medals.

On Sunday, when Canada plays in the gold-medal game against Sweden, it will become the only other country with at least three medals since the NHL started sending players to the Olympics in 1998.

Finland’s blowout victory also avenged its 6-1 defeat to the Americans in the semifinals in 2010.

Jonathan Quick recorded 24 saves for the Americans, who missed the opportunity to win medals in back-to-back Olympics for the first time since 1956 and 1960.

They took home the silver four years ago in Vancouver in an overtime loss to Canada but were shutout in their final two games here after scoring 19 goals in their first four.

The Finns had a 2-0 lead going into the third period as Selanne and Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds apart early in the second. However, they opened it up with three goals in a span of less than seven minutes.

Juuso Hietanen scored at 6:10, just as a tripping penalty to Patrick Kane expired, to make it 3-0. Selanne scored his second of the game 2:56 later and Olli Maatta cashed in on a power-play goal with 6:51 to play.

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