It was quite a way to finish one of the most illustrious international careers in the history of the game. Teemu Selanne scored twice in his final international game to lead Team Finland to a 5-0 victory over Team USA to capture the Bronze Medal.
Teammate Tuukka Rask, who was sidelined with the flu for yesterday’s semi-final loss to Sweden, was back in the net and made 27 stops for the shutout in what is always an incredibly difficult game to play. It make you wonder a bit if he had been able to play against Sweden if the Finns might have been playing for Gold tomorrow rather than Bronze today. However, Finland has made the most of their opportunities, as it is the third time in 5 Olympics that they have been able to shake off a loss in the semi-final and avoid going home empty handed.
After a scoreless first period that saw Patrick Kane miss a penalty shot, Selanne opened the scoring, followed quickly by another goal by Jussi Jokinen that pretty much devastated the Americans who essentially gave up after that. Patrick Kane missed on another penalty shot and the second ended at 2-0. The third was all Finland as they piled on with goals from Juuso Heitanen, Selanne and Olli Maatta to make it a blowout.
For Selanne, it was a fitting cap to his sixth Olympics, capturing his 4th medal to go along with silver in 2006 and bronze in 1998 and 2010. The Finns have actually medaled more than any country in the NHL era, but they just haven’t been able to get to the top of the podium. He will now hand the reins of the team over to the likes of Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu (who missed the tournament with an injury) and Aleksander Barkov (who was injured during the tournament) to carry on the tradition.
For the US, who had high hopes entering the elimination round, they had trouble scoring against the higher ranked teams while lighting up the weaker teams. They scored just 2 goals in 3 games against Russia, Canada and Finland and went the last 137:59 of action without a goal, dating back to the quarterfinal win against the Czech Republic. The US has still failed to win a medal in any Olympic Games played outside North America.