Finland got a scare in more ways than one, as they opened their hockey slate Thursday against Austria.
Down 2-1 in the first period, Finland survived a hat trick from Michael Grabner to beat Austria in a sloppy 8-4 contest.
"I think we have to get back to being tighter defensively," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen. "That was [the] first game, probably not the best one Finland played, but we take it and move on."
Finland also got a scare when 43-year-old captain Teemu Selanne left the contest with what the team is calling an “upper-body injury” after the first period and did not return.
The team is saying the injury is not serious, and Selanne (who had an assist on Mikael Granlund’s first period goal) should be available to play Friday when Finland takes on Norway.
“He’s an old man, so he needs some rest more than the other guys,” said Petri Kontiola (who had a goal and an assist).
Finland is already without top players Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula, as both failed to make the trek to Sochi due to injury; and can hardly afford to lose Selanne despite their eight-goal offensive output. For now, they don’t seem too worried about that possibility.
"He's a warrior,’ said forward Jussi Jokinen (who had a goal and an assist). “I think he'll be back for us."