Finns gang up on third-stringer

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

QUEBEC CITY -- What was he thinking?

There will be all sorts of controversy in Sweden today with coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson's decision to go with his third-stringer in goal for the bronze-medal game here yesterday.

"We thought he would be up for the challenge," Gustafsson said.

Stafan Liv -- which rhymes with sieve -- was considerably less than up for the challenge as Finland won 4-0 in a game not incidental in either country. Liv made only nine saves in the game while Niklas Backstrom at the other end turned aside 36 for his second shutout of the world hockey championship.

"I think goaltending was the difference," Finland captain Ville Peltonen said. "We weren't all that much better but Niklas Backstrom was very much better. They had their chances and outshot us badly."

Antti Pihlsrom scored two of the goals for the Finns, who garnered a third consecutive medal at this tourney, with Janne Niskala and Mikko Koivu adding the others.

"A medal is always a medal," said Saku Koivu. "A lot of people back home were watching. It's a big tournament back home and it's always big against the Swedes."

The Swedes beat the Finns in the final of the world championship in 1992 and '98 and did likewise in the gold medal game of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, as well.

Teemu Selanne, meanwhile, announce that he had just played his last international game for Finland.

"I knew before the tournament that this would be my last time with the national team," the winger said.

END WITH A WIN

"It was great to end my career for Finland with a win. We came for gold and it is only a bronze, but the last game was a win. I am so proud and so grateful for all my experiences playing for my country. It made me a better player.

"When I was 17, if you had told me I was going to experience all of this, I would have asked you what you were smoking."

Selanne said his decision returning to the Anaheim Ducks for another year will be made before July 1.


Videos

Photos