U.S. aims to rebound in bronze medal game vs. Finland
(SportsNetwork.com) - Gold has once again escaped the grasp of Team USA.
The men's hockey team will now try to avoid leaving the Sochi Olympics without a medal at all as they battle Finland in the bronze medal game on Saturday.
The United States squared off against Canada on Friday in a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game. And like those Vancouver Games, Canada got the better of the U.S. by handing the Americans a 1-0 setback.
Jonathan Quick was solid in net for the U.S. and posted 36 saves, but an offense that tied Finland for the most goals in the preliminary round (15) failed to get a shot by Canadian netminder Carey Price.
Price ended with 31 saves to advance Canada into the gold medal game against Sweden.
The only goal allowed by Quick came at 1:41 of the second period as Canada's Jay Bouwmeester unleashed a low, hard shot from the left point that was redirected into the net by Jamie Benn.
The defeat dropped the U.S. to 1-4 in Olympic action against Canada since NHL players began competing in 1998. That includes an overtime setback four years ago in Vancouver.
Looking to secure a chance at winning its first Olympic gold medal, Finland instead saw its offense struggle as well in a 2-1 setback to Sweden on Friday.
Without goaltender Tuukka Rask due to illness, Finland got 23 stops from Kari Lehtonen. Olli Jokinen was the lone Finn to beat Swede goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 25 saves.
Jokinen was in the penalty box when Sweden netted its game-winning goal in the second period as Erik Karlsson scored on a one-time blast with 3:34 on the clock.
The Finns had a power-play opportunity midway through the third, but failed to cash in and didn't have many good scoring chances the rest of the way.
Finland is looking to secure an Olympic medal for the fifth time in the last six Olympic Games. The Finns won bronze in 2010 after taking silver four years prior.
The U.S., which has not won gold since the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, won silver in 2002 and four years ago in Vancouver after being held without a medal in 2006.
The last time the Americans won a bronze medal was in 1936.