There’s a bitter taste in the motherland. Russia fell short of capturing a medal for the second straight winter Olympics. Memories of the last Olympics in Vancouver loomed Bolshoi ice dome as the Russians dream of a gold medal came to an end against Finland.
Russia started off the tournament fairly well. A 5-2 victory over Slovenia gave everyone the idea that this team could go far. The next match was a true test for the Russians. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in the Olympics; USA vs Russia. The stage was set and Bolshoi ice dome was ready to watch the spectacle. After 65 minuets were up USA and Russia were both tied at 2-2. The Russians and Americans we’re headed for the shootout. The Russians were favored to win the shootout with players like Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk. But young forward TJ Oshie for the St. Louis Blues had other plans. Oshie shot six times in the shootout and converted four to win it for USA. Russia’s record was 1-0-1-0 heading into the third game.
It was Slovakia vs Russia, and this game wasn’t much different then the USA game. After 65 minuets both teams were stilled knotted up at zero. This time Russia made short work of the shootout. Scoring the first two times and blocking the first two shooters of Slovakia gave team Russia a 1-0 win heading into the tournament round.
It was Norway vs Russia in the qualification round. The host team vs a team with only one NHL player, who wasn’t even playing. Russia took care of business fast. Quick scoring and sound play left Russia with a 4-0 win and a pass to the quarterfinals where they would take on Finland.
Finland was a quite but deadly team. As most reporters were focused on the play of USA, Russia, and Canada, Finland took care of business. Led by the ageless wonder Teemu Selanne and the Fins ended the preliminary round with a record of 2-0-1-0. The game started off well for Russia, a bad penalty from the Fins sent Russia to the power play quickly. Illya Kovalchuck would be the first to cash in. A wicked slapshot from the slot gave Russia the early 1-0 lead.
But Finland would strike back, quickly. Uhamatti Aaltonen would deke his way in front of Varlamov and bury it five-hole to knot things up at 1-1. But the Fins weren’t done. The ageless wonder himself would find himself on a slight breakaway. Teemu would tuck it in to give Finland a 2-1 lead.
The Fins would head into the second with a 2-1 lead. Finland didn’t take the pedal of the gas just yet. A quick goal from Granlund would give the Fins a 3-1 lead. The stanza would end with Finland on top 3-1. Vladimir Putin was not happy how his team was playing
Russia had it’s work cut out for them at the start of the third. A commanding 3-1 lead would prove to much for the host country. Russia’s journey to gold would come to an end at the hands of team Finland. The host countries hope for hold was no longer obtainable.