Selanne, Finland humble U.S. to take bronze

Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:54pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Finland's Teemu Selanne capped his international ice hockey career in style, scoring twice while dealing the United States a humiliating 5-0 loss to capture the bronze medal at the Sochi Games on Saturday.

Selanne's goal 87 seconds into the second period opened the floodgates for a Finnish team that overcame a semi-final loss on Saturday to win a medal for the third straight Olympics, following a silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010.

"I have been carrying this jersey with a lot of love and pride and winning this last game like this was a dream come true," Selanne told reporters.

"It's unbelievable. I played my first national team game 26 years ago and if somebody would've told me I was going to win four Olympic medals then, it would've been hard to believe. It is overwhelming for sure."

The defeat was one final insult for a U.S. team that won the silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games and arrived in Sochi with hopes of living up their billing as one of the gold medal favorites.

But after a crushing 1-0 loss to the rival Canadians in the later of Friday's two semi-final games, the Americans ran out of gas against a Finnish team that seemed to have more left in the tank as the game went on.

The Americans were flying high in Sochi and everything was going according to script as they reached the semis undefeated and as the highest scoring team of the 12-nation tournament. But that meant little after losing to Canada.

"It was pretty demoralizing," U.S. captain Zach Parise told reporters.   Continued...

Finland's Teemu Selanne (L) celebrates his goal as Team USA's Ryan Kesler and John Carlson react during the third period of their men's ice hockey bronze medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor