For fans of USA hockey—this one’s going to sting for a little bit.
Any assumptions that Finland would be an easy team to beat went flying out the window along with the scoreless first period. Towards the beginning of the second, Finland scored twice in 11 seconds—and dealt Team USA a crippling blow.
It’s hard to come from behind. And Team USA tried, for the remainder of the second and the third, to make up that lost ground. But they were frustrated, and it showed, in the form of three penalties in the third. Team Finland scored on every power play, piling insult onto injury, and USA would leave the tournament without a medal and Finland claimed the bronze.
To anyone saddened over Team USA’s showing today, I’d like to say: it’s not that Team USA is that bad. It’s that Team Finland is that good. You just didn’t notice, and who can really blame you. The US team was getting a lot of coverage at home, while Finland was often playing in the 3am death slot. But all this time, while the US was stunning everyone in America with their goals, and Canada was still getting their bearings, Finland was shaking off injuries and coming together as a team to play well and with consistency. They deserve that bronze medal.
And, okay, USA hockey fans. I understand you’re feeling hurt. But I dare you to look at the photos of a joyful and teary-eyed Teemu Selanne and not feel just a little happy that Finland took home the bronze.
I dare you.