Finland humiliates U.S. to capture bronze in Sochi

Finland's Juuso Hietanen (C) celebrates his goal against Team USA with teammates Sami Lepisto (L)...

Finland's Juuso Hietanen (C) celebrates his goal against Team USA with teammates Sami Lepisto (L) and Olli Jokinen during the third period of their men's ice hockey bronze medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 22, 2014. (REUTERS)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:34 PM ET

SOCHI, RUSSIA - The Finnish Flash added another medal to his collection.

And the U.S. is going home from a big-ice Olympics empty-handed — again.

Finland rolled over the suddenly stunted Americans in the bronze medal game 5-0 Saturday with 43-year-old Teemu Selanne scoring two goals, adding to his all-time goal total (now 24 in 37 Olympic games) and earning his fourth Olympic medal.

Selanne spoke to his teammates a couple of hours before the game, telling them to move on from their semifinal loss to Sweden.

“We tried to remind (ourselves) that we deserve better than fourth place. Let’s try and take what’s left out there and what a great ending,” he said.

“Twenty six years ago I played my first national team game and I’ve been carrying this jersey with a lot of pride and love. Winning this last game like this is a dream come true. I’m so proud of my teammates and what a great ending.”

Finland was down four centres after Saku Koivu opted to sit these Olympics out and injuries claimed Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filpplua and Aleksander Barkov, but the Finns are always greater than the sum of their parts.

“There was never a feeling that we can’t do it,” said forward Olli Jokinen. “It was very disappointing to lose that semifinal. We had a meeting here and the coaching staff was saying that the faster you can put that game behind and start preparing for the next one, the better chance we have because there is going to be one more country later that night that is going to be disappointed, as well.

“I think we wanted to win this medal more than they did.”

The Americans, who started on such a high with their win over Russia in a thrilling shootout in pool play, were left humiliated by the loss and were shut out of the medals for the third time in tournaments hosted on the big international ice.

“Disappointing. A little embarrassing with what was on the line the last two days and for us to not play well really in either of the games,” said captain Zach Parise. “That’s something that will frustrate all of us for quite a long time.”

American forward Patrick Kane missed two penalty shots and wound up with no goals for the tournament. He was awarded the first in the first period when Finnish defenceman Kimmo Timonen shot a broken stick at the puck being carried by American forward Ryan Kesler, knocking it away.

Kane was picked to shoot, but the puck rolled off his stick and wide by the left post when he tried to deke Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask.

He went to the centre ice dot again in the second period when he was slashed by Finland’s Leo Komarov on a breakaway. He skated in and rang a shot off the left post.

To complete Kane’s Sochi experience, he was just about to step out of the penalty box in the third period when Finland’s Juuso Hietanen scored on a blast from the point to make it 3-0.

U.S. forward James van Riemsdyk took a puck in the throat area, but said he was OK.

“I’ll be fine. It just kind of knocked the wind out of me for a bit,” he said.

Which kind of describes how the whole night went for Team USA.

American forward Max Pacioretty got right to the point.

“We didn’t show up,” he said. “We let our country down, that’s it.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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