The Norman Transcript

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February 23, 2014

Finland routs USA for bronze

(Continued)

SOCHI, Russia —

No, it wasn’t.

The Americans wasted a chance to earn medals in consecutive Olympic hockey tournaments for the first time since winning gold in 1960 and silver in 1956.

Finland, meanwhile, took advantage of two power plays in the third period with goals to put the U.S. away in a game it didn’t look interested in after falling behind 2-0.

If the league and players’ union do not let the world’s best players go to South Korea in four years, Kane and Co. may never get a shot to help the Americans win gold that has been elusive since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”

Jonathan Quick, starting ahead of silver-medal winning goaltender Ryan Miller, stopped all eight shots that got to him in the first before giving up five goals on just 21 shots over the last two periods.

“Absolutely not second-guessing the decision to go with Quick in net,” U.S. coach Dan Bylsma said. “He was our best player in the semifinal game.

“He was excellent again tonight. He made five, six or seven excellent saves in the first half of this game. And no, I did not consider pulling him as the game went to four and five.”

Selanne, who has said he will retire after playing for the Anaheim Ducks this season, skated off the ice in Sochi for the final time with 20 seconds to play and hugged two teammates on the bench before leaping back over the boards at the final buzzer.

From the ice, Selanne reached over the boards to embrace every assistant coach and executive on Finland’s bench. The popular player got lifted off his skates more than once by hugs.

“Maybe this was his last game for national team and as a captain,” Finland coach Erkka Westerlund. “It was excellent game to finish.”

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