SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The United States men’s hockey team arrived in Sochi with lofty expectations of winning gold, but they will be going home without medaling at all.
During the bronze medal game on Saturday, the U.S. team was soundly beaten by Finland during a contest that saw Finland goalie Tuukka Rask keep the Americans off the scoreboard with a 5-0 shutout.
Finland’s captain, 43-year-old Teemu Selanne, scored two goals during his final game for the national team. Selanne has scored 24 goals during his Olympic career and now has three bronze medals and one silver. In addition to this being his final Olympic run, the veteran player has also said this will be his last year in the NHL.
"If you would write the story about this, there couldn't be a better ending," Selanne said after the game. "Maybe winning the gold medal, but that was not reality. This is great, a happy ending."
After scoring 19 goals in their first four games of the tournament, the American team was unable to score a single goal in their final two Olympic contests. They lost 1-0 to Canada in the semifinals on Friday. During Saturday’s game, Rask was able to stop Patrick Kane on two penalty shots to help preserve the shutout. Rask stopped 27 shots overall.
"I wasn't good enough to help the team win a medal," Kane said. "Obviously, I was expected to do a lot more. When you come over here and put up zero goals and four assists in six games, it's not the numbers you want to see. Definitely disappointing."
The loss was a big letdown for a U.S. team that won silver in Vancouver in 2010.
"The way we played the last two games we didn't deserve it [a medal]," said U.S. captain Zach Parise. "We got out-played. We didn't deserve to win either of them. Coming into the final round I thought we were playing well. I'm kind of embarrassed where we're at now."
The NHL will resume on Tuesday when Carolina takes on Buffalo.