An overwhelming onslaught from the Russian ice hockey team crushed Finland 6-2 in Saturday’s semi-final game, relegating the home team to a bronze medal match against the Czechs Sunday afternoon.
Finland opened the scoring with a goal by Janne Niskala close to the end of the first period, but failed to capitalize on the early advantage, as Yevgeni Malkin equalized for Russia and then scored again moments before the end of the period, taking the score to 2-1.
After that it was all Russia’s game, as the Finns’ eastern neighbours stole the psychological advantage by scoring another two goals in the second period to take the score to 4-1. This time it was Alexander Ovechkin and Malkin yet again who steered the puck past the Finnish defense into the goal.
The Russians found the back of the net twice more in the third quarter, this time with efforts by Denis Kokarev and Sergei Shirokov.
Although 6-1 down, Finland fought back in the closing minutes of the last period to secure a final consolation goal, knocked home by the young Mikael Granlund off a fine pass by Joonas Järvinen.
The result gave the lie to the prophecy of Jacques the octopus (Jakki) of Helsinki Sea Life, who on Friday predicted that Finland would take home gold in the 2012 Ice Hockey World Championship.