SOCHI, RUSSIA — Teemu Selanne led his team around the ice, with a bronze medal draped around his neck, after he finished off his sixth Olympics with a sweet victory.
If the Finnish Flash is retiring and hanging up his skates after the NHL season, he picked a pretty good way to go out on the world’s stage.
Selanne, 43, scored two goals and Tuukka Rask had a 27-save shutout, helping Finland rout the United States 5-0 Saturday to win hockey bronze at the Sochi Games.
The smooth-skating forward with a lightning-quick shot and Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds apart early in the second period.
Selanne and his teammates were not finished, scoring three goals in the third against a team that looked like it would rather be at home.
“It was just something special,” Selanne said. “I’m so proud.”
The Americans, meanwhile, were humiliated.
“I’m kind of embarrassed where we’re at now,” U.S. defenseman Ryan Suter said.
Selanne has helped Finland win four medals in the last five Olympics, more than any other nation in the NHL era.
Before the match became a rout, it was a game of missed opportunities for the Americans.
Patrick Kane couldn’t convert on a penalty shot in each of the first two periods. He missed the net to the right on his first and hit the right crossbar on his second.
“Just didn’t really capitalize on anything,” he acknowledged.
Kane, who also missed a breakaway in overtime against Russia, said Saturday’s setback was one of the most frustrating games of his career.
“Whether it was confidence or not getting enough chances, who really knows at the end of the day,” he said. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”
If the league and players’ union do not let the world’s best players go to South Korea in four years, Kane and Co. may never get a shot to help the Americans win gold that has been elusive since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”