Russia Knocked Out of Olympic Hockey by Finns, 3-1
Published: February 20, 2014 (Issue # 1798)
SOCHI — Finland eliminated Russia from the Olympic men's hockey tournament with a 3-1 victory Wednesday, putting a stunning end to the Russians' enormous expectations at home.
Teemu Selanne scored an early goal and Tuukka Rask made 37 saves as Finland crushed the Russians' dreams of winning hockey gold in front of their own fans. Russian teams have won eight gold medals in hockey, but none in the last 22 years.
Related: Russia Struggles Past Norway to Make Olympic Hockey Quarterfinals
Selanne and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist for the steady Finns, who overcame an early deficit and silenced the Bolshoi Ice Dome with two goals in the first period.
Despite its roster of high-priced offensive stars, Russia could not score in the final 52 minutes after Ilya Kovalchuk's early power-play goal.
Finland will face top-seeded Sweden in the semifinals on Friday.
Russia has failed to win a medal in three straight Olympics since 2002, and even home-ice advantage could not end the embarrassing drought.
Related: Russia Squeezes Past Slovakia in Hockey Shootout
A quarterfinal exit is excruciating for the proud Russian team, which pressed relentlessly and fruitlessly in the third period after falling behind by two goals.
After the final buzzer, several Russian players stood on the ice with their hands on their knees. Yevgeny Malkin, who failed to score a goal in the last four games, dropped to one knee before captain Pavel Datsyuk led the traditional post-game handshake line.
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