SOCHI – This is the last time Teemu Selanne will wear the sweater of Finland’s Olympic team. It has to be. And as always, he wore it with distinction.
Selanne scored two goals in his country’s 5-0 win over USA in the bronze medal game. The goals, his 86th and 87th, capped off a brilliant career in international competition. It also clinched Selanne’s third Olympic bronze medal to go along with the silver he won in 2006. Jussi Jokinen, Olli Maatta and Jusso Heitanen also scored for Finland.
That makes medals in four of five Olympics with NHL players for Finland, a remarkable feat for the country. The Finns, with 11 non-NHL players in their lineup, always seem to have more of a hunger in a bronze medal game than their competitors.
Tuukka Rask, who missed the semifinal against Sweden with an illness, was back in the nets for the bronze medal game and turned in a perfect effort.
The result was a colossal disappointment for the Americans, who were flying through the preliminary round and looked to be the team to beat entering the playoff round. But their inability to score, something that reached epidemic proportions for everyone in the tournament, hurt them. They failed to score a goal in their final two games.
THN’s Three Stars
1. Teemu Selanne
2. Teemu Selanne
3. Teemu Selanne