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US finishes off Finland, 6-1

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  February 26, 2010 03:07 PM

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THIRD PERIOD


USA date in gold-medal game on Sunday official. Yanks drub Finland, 6-1, to advance to championship for first time since 2002 (Salt Lake).
Will take on winner of tonight's match between Canada and Slovakia.

Final shots: 25-25.

With 2:30 to go, smattering of USA fans begin to chant, ''We want Canada!....We want Canada!''


Finns finally get on board at 14:46, cut US lead to 6-1. Miettinen tees up slapper high in left wing circle and deflects to top right corner off of US defenseman. Finnish and pro-Canada fans begin chanting, ''Thomas.....Thom-as......Thom....''

With 8:00 to play, USA still with 6-0 lead.

Thomas takes over USA net with 11:31 to play. First break for Miller, the starting netminder for all five games here at Olympus.

With about 12 minutes to go, Thomas goes to room to get gear. Soon to enter game.

Thomas remains on bench for USA. Looks as if Miller will go distance, despite USA needing less than 13 minutes of first period to stake 6-0 lead.

SECOND PERIOD

Score remains 6-0, USA, at end of 40:00. USA with 22-11 shot lead.

7:00 to go, Yanks still with 6-0 lead.


Other than Jarrko Ruutu's 12 minutes in penalties, a very quiet period.


Thomas remains on USA bench, Miller still in net.


FIRST PERIOD

First period in books. USA with 6-0 lead on strength of 13-4 shot advantage. Yanks all but certain to face either Canada or Slovakia in Sunday's championship game.

Wonder if Thomas gets to move in net for period or two of appreciation duty.

Each time a goal is scored, a loud horn shakes the building, somewhat like at the TD Garden. Checking now if horn operator is seeking treatment for carpal tunnel of right index finger.


OK, stop the insanity, US makes it 6-0 at 12:46
. Stastny shovels in easy forehander off of short dish from Langenbrunner. Gets any easier, coach Ron Wilson might ask Bruins goalie Tim Thomas to take a shift at forward, in full pads.

What a beating. US pots 5-0 lead at 12:31. Kane connects with wrister from right wing faceoff dot, beating Backstrom stick-side to far (left) post.

Essentially all ove at 10:08 when USA makes it 4-0. Kane pots backhander near right post after he collects own rebound from a stuff attempt on left side. Niskala fails: 1. to get loose puck and 2. to pick up the pint-sized Kane. Backstrom replaces the bedraggled Kiprusoff on the Suomi net.

USA increases lead to 3-0 with 8:36 gone. With Lydman in penalty box for boarding Brown, Erik Johnson fires in forehander from low in right wing circle, Pavelski making key diagonal feed from near left post. Finns call time out. Getting ugly.

Yanks on march, up lead to 2-0 at 6:22. With Niskala in box for interference, Parise pops out to open left post and makes forehand stuff of perfect Stastny feed. Looking like easy passage to gold game.

USA gets on board with 1-0 lead with only 2:04 gone. Grand faux pas by Kiprusoff in Finn's net. He wanders straight out of cage to handle routine loose puck and clears it directly on stick of the advancing Malone, who fires 30-footer into empty net. Linemate Kessel, parked at left post, acts as witness to perhaps the Games' easiest goal.

Underway here at Canada Hockey Place. Team USA within 60 minutes of reaching Sunday's gold medal final.

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