Minnesota Wild winger Mikael Granlund scored a goal while adding an assist to help Finland knock the Russians out of the men's hockey tournament at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia today. The final score was 3-1.
Even though Finland earned a higher seed after the qualifying round, the Russians were considered a slight favorite playing on their home ice at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
The victory for Finland means the United States won't have an opportunity for a rematch against Russia in the gold medal game. Warroad native T.J. Oshie led the U.S. to an incredible victory over the Russians in an eight-round shootout in their second game of the qualifying round.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who went back-and-forth against Oshie in the shootout against the Americans last weekend, put the Russians up with a goal eight minutes into the first period. That's all they would get. The Finns locked down on the defensive end to send Russia to a disappointing finish without a medal on their home turf.
After assisting on Teemu Selanne's goal to tie the game, Granlund scored on the power play in the second period for the Finns' third goal of the game. ESPN documented the interesting part about the Granlund-Selanne connection.
Finland scored again on a power play early in the second, with Granlund collecting Selanne's rebound and sliding in a backhand from a sharp angle. Granlund, who turns 22 in a week, hadn't been born when Selanne played in his first Olympics in 1992.
Granlund and Finland move into the semifinals where they'll play top-seed Sweden, which dominated Slovenia 5-0 today.
The U.S. is back in action at 11 a.m. today in a quarterfinal game against Czech Republic. The winner of that game will meet the winner of Canada-Latvia, who get together at 11 a.m. as well.