Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. General Sports

Finland ends Russia's Olympic run on its own soil

See also

The Russian Olympic hockey team had high hopes before facing Finland in the quarterfinals on Feb. 19. Reaching the Olympic medal round was the least the Russians could do in front of their home fans, who were dreaming of gold ever since Sochi was awarded the 2014 Winter Games. However, those dreams died hard and decisively, as the Fins shattered a country right in front of its eyes with a 3-1 triumph.

Finland dominated right after Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk tallied the first goal of the day. Just 87 seconds later, Juhamatti Aaltonen evened things up and set the true tone of the game. Once Finland went ahead late in the first on a strike from its most iconic player, Teemu Selanne, the Russians played catch up the rest of the way.

Russia had its chances, yet Finland/Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped almost all of them with 37 saves. Despite having a roster led by Alex Oveckin and Evgeni Malkin, the Russians' offense never got clicking -- like it didn't for much of the Olympics. As such, it will now have to sit out the rest of the games, while Finland, Sweden and arch-rivals Canada and the U.S. battle for the gold on Russian soil.

If anything, Finland's upset should send an extra message to the Americans, before they try to survive getting upset themselves by the Czech Republic this afternoon. As it turned out, the U.S.'s shootout win over the Russians on Feb. 15 meant nothing at all, although it did keep America from facing Finland in the quarters itself.

The U.S. could still face Finland in the gold medal game anyway, which is still a long way off. Finland is a step closer at the moment, however, as it already has a semifinal date set up with Sweden on Feb. 21. If there are any Russian fans left in the stands by then, they may root for Sweden by default.

Russia and Canada had the most pressure to win gold at the Olympics, yet even Canada didn't have as much on the line as the Russians did. Is this just an isolated case of the host nation crumbling, or will more projected hockey favorites fall early as the week goes on?

The Americans and Canada will try to stop the upset trend in its tracks, as they face the Czechs and Latvia respectively at noon est.



  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Peyton Manning dancing
    Peyton Manning shows off his formidable dancing skills at training camp
    NFL News
  • Bagwell becoming porn star
    Buff Bagwell has the stuff, but his Vivid dreams have not come true just yet
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court