Finland eliminates Russia in QFs
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist to help Finland eliminate Russia from the men's hockey tournament with a 3-1 win at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Juhamatti Aaltonen also scored, while Tuukka Rask stopped 37-of-38 shots he faced for the Fins, who advanced to the medal round at the Sochi Games for the third straight Olympics.
The Finns, who have the most medals since NHL players began Olympic participation in 1998 with three, will now play Sweden in a rematch of the 2006 gold medal game in a semifinal matchup on Friday.
Sweden moved on to the next round earlier Wednesday with a shutout win over Slovenia.
Russia's strength in these Olympics had been its goaltending, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday, as Semyon Varlamov was pulled 6:42 into the second after allowing three goals on 15 shots.
Sergei Bobrovsky relieved him and stopped all seven shots he faced.
The loss was a bitter disappointment for the hometown Russians, who haven't won Olympic hockey gold since the breakup of the Soviet Union, although the Unified Team won the 1992 tournament in Albertville.
After Ilya Kovalchuk gave the Russians the lead, Finland answered 1:27 later on a pretty crossover move in front of the net off the stick of Aaltonen.
Selanne than gave the Fins the lead for good with 2:22 left in the first. On the rush Selanne took a beautiful pass from Granlund and buried it past Varlamov.
It was Selanne's 22nd career goal in the Olympics.
Selanne then played a part in Finland's next goal as his shot on net kicked out to Granlund, who put it past Varlamov to end the goaltender's day, as he was pulled 1:05 later in favor of Bobrovsky.
While Finland has medaled in four of the last five Olympics, including a bronze four years ago and a silver in 2006, it has never won a gold.