Finland scores 4 3rd period goals to clinch bronze
During Slovakia’s bronze medal clash with Finland last night, to the causal observer, it must have appeared that the ice was tilted in one direction, as all 8 of the game’s goals were scored on the same net. Finland jumped out to an early lead, but fell behind by 2 after 3 goals in the 2nd. Four Finnish goals in the 3rd shocked the Slovaks and gave the Finns their 4th medal in the last 5 Olympic hockey games.
Sami Salo put the Finns out front with a powerplay goal late in the first, as the Slovaks allowed a rare powerplay goal - their penalty kill has been one of the best at these Games, but their special teams answered strongly in the 2nd. Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa both scored powerplay goals for Slovakia, followed by a shorthanded tally from Pavol Demitra that gave them a commanding 2 goal lead heading into the 3rd.
The way Halak had played in these games, it seemed unlikely that the Finns would be able to climb back in, but climb they did, scoring 3 goals in the span of 4 minutes to retake the lead. Niklas Hagman scored a powerplay goal, followed by a pair of goals from Finnish veteran Olli Jokinen that set up a frantic pace for the second half of the period. Valtteri Filppula iced the game for Finland with an empty netter in the closing seconds.
For veterans Jere Lehtinen, Ville Peltonen and Saku Koivu, the bronze is their 4th Olympic medal. Teemu Selanne was held scoreless in what is probably his final Olympic game. Despite missing the chance to medal, Slovakia’s 4th place finish is the highest in their nation’s history.
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