Since their huge upset win over the Canadians last week, the Americans have looked pretty damn near unstoppable as they have rolled through the quarters and semifinals on their way back to a gold medal rematch with the powerhouse Canadians. Just ask Miikka Kiprusoff and the Finns, who were on the receiving end of the latest American smackdown in their semi-finals matchup on Friday.
With 4 goals in the first ten minutes, the US chased one of the tournament’s best goalies to the locker room, and ended this game before it even started. Just over two minutes in, Phil Kessel pressured Kiprusoff into a turnover that led to Ryan Malone’s goal, and the chase was on. Zach Parise crashed the net on a powerplay opportunity four minutes later, and Erik Johnson snuck a wrister through the all-star netminder on the Americans’ next powerplay. Pat Kane got in on the act less than 2 minutes later. He drove down the right boards, faked out a Finnish defender and then gathered his own rebound to score the Americans’ 4th goal of the period and send Kippy to the showers.
Backup Niklas Backstrom wasn’t exempt from the American onslaught, as Kane welcomed him to the game with a wrist shot that beat him just inside the far post, followed by yet another goal from Paul Stastny less than 15 seconds later. With 7 minutes remaining in the first period, the US was able to virtually put the game on cruise control and begin looking ahead to their gold medal matchup.
The Finns mounted a bit of an offensive attack in the 3rd, outshooting the Americans 14-3, and were rewarded with a powerplay goal from Antti Miettinen that spoiled Ryan Miller’s shutout, but that was all they would get, as they were sent to a bronze medal matchup with the upstart Slovaks.