February 23, 2006
Finns look to make historySelanne doesn't mind loosing teeth for gold medal
By PAT GRIER -- Toronto Sun
TURIN -- Though the Russians slayed the mighty Canadian giant, don't forget about Ted Finland.
The Finns have yet to lose at this tournament after defeating the U.S. 4-3 in their quarter-final game at the Palasport Arena, riding a hot offence and stifling defence into their semi-final against Russia tomorrow.
"We know that we can beat everybody when we play at our level," said Finland forward Teemu Selanne, who has six goals and nine points. "We didn't even have to play that well tonight."
The Finns know they have a chance to do something great here, and have a taste for victory after losing to Canada in the 2004 World Cup final.
"We have a chance to do something great in history for Finnish hockey and that's our goal," Selanne said.
Finland has one silver and three bronze in Olympic hockey, but no gold.
His teammate, Olli Jokkinen, who led the way for Finland yesterday with two goals, said the team's familiarity with each other is one of its big advantages.
"This is the second tournament in the past two years we've been able to ice our best guys and we've only lost one game (the World Cup final against Canada),"Jokinen said. "So hopefully we've earned some respect around the world.
Selanne, meanwhile, was sporting a bloody lip and a few holes in his mouth after taking a Derian Hatcher stick to the mouth, but he didn't seem too concerned.
"I'm a little disappointed I lost three teeth, but that's a little sacrifice to win a gold medal," Selanne said. "You can always get new teeth."