Finland Tops Russia, Ends Host's Medal Dreams

Wednesday, 02.19.2014 / 10:08 AM / News
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Finland Tops Russia, Ends Host\'s Medal Dreams
SOCHI -- Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist in Finland\'s stunning 3-1 victory over Russia in the quarterfinals.
By Corey Masisak | NHL.com

SOCHI -- Led by 43-year-old captain Teemu Selanne's two-point night (1g/1a), Finland stunned Russia and the nearly 12,000 in attendance at Bolshoy Ice Dome with a 3-1 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

The undermanned Finns are missing their top four centers, but they will play for a medal Friday against Sweden.

Selanne, the oldest player in the tournament, says the victory is one he'll remember for quite some time.

"It ranks pretty high," he said. "Beating Russia in their home tournament where all the best players are is huge. Especially with four of our best centers out of this tournament, we don’t have the depth that some other teams have. We have to be very proud of this."

Juhamatti Aaltonen got the Finns even 87 seconds later with a brilliant individual move. He turned Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin inside out near the goal line and then tucked a shot off Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and in for his first of the Olympics at 9:18.

Selanne gave the Finns the lead at 17:38 of the first. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov failed to stop the puck along the right wall and Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund blew past him to retrieve it and set up a 2-on-1. Granlund fed the ageless Selanne, who muffed the shot but it still slid between Varlamov's legs.

It was the 43-year-old Selanne's second of the tournament, and set a new record for oldest goal scorer in the Olympics, a mark he had set five days earlier with a goal against Norway.

"The good thing is … we don’t have that problem with having four first lines that have to play 25 minutes a game," said Selanne. "We accept our roles and we know what we can do. We just believe if we can outwork the other team, we have a good chance to win. Tonight’s game was a perfect example."

Granlund scored a power-play goal to make it 3-1 in the second period. Alexei Emelin was in the box for tripping Finland's Lauri Korpikoski when Granlund steered the rebound of a Selanne shot past Varlamov at 5:37.

Shortly after Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky came in to replace Varlamov. Bobrovsky blanked Finland the remainder of the way.

The Russian offense came to life in the second half of the second period and they generated several quality scoring chances. Rask didn't have a lot of tough work in the first period but he kept the lead at two goals in the final minutes of the second with big saves.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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