FINLAND used its power play to full advantage and skated away from GERMANY for a 5-0 shutout victory in Group C at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Finland scored four goals (three by defensemen) with its first five power play opportunities, the first coming with less than four and a half minutes played to start the match. Rearguard JANNE NISKALA of Swedish club HC Vastra Frolunda Goteborg blasted a shot through the pads of German goaltender DMITRI PATZOLD which was tapped in by Carolina Hurricane forward TUOMO RUUTU to give Finland a key, early 1-0 lead.
The Germans stayed with Finland for the first period, but, four minutes into the second stanza, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman KIMMO TIMONEN snuck in front from the left point to finish off New York Ranger OLLI JOKINEN’s centering pass. With less than four minutes remaining in the middle period, again on the power play, Timonen wristed a shot from the left point past Patzold, who was screened perfectly by Jokinen. Assisting on the play was TEEMU SELANNE, who has now totaled 20 goals and 37 points for Finland in 27 Olympic ice hockey contests.
Patzold, the ERC Ingolstadt netminder and one-time San Jose Sharks farmhand, was not anywhere near as strong for Germany in their second game as current San Jose Sharks deputy goaltender THOMAS GREISS had been against Sweden in the team’s Olympic opener.
Finland’s JARKKO RUUTU of the Ottawa Senators, a one-time Vancouver Canuck, scored his second goal of the 2010 Vancouver Games seven minutes into the final period. Ruutu fired home the rebound after Finland’s all-time scoring leader at major international tournaments, VILLE PELTONEN of Dynamo Minsk, had been stopped in front on the backhand by Patzold after a fine set-up from NIKO KAPANEN of Ak Bars Kazan.
Former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman JONI PITKANEN, now skating for the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL, tacked on a final power play goal two minutes later for Finland in a match in which coach JUKKA JALONEN’s side controled throughout.
FINLAND 5 – GERMANY 0
Shots-on-goal : Finland 35 – Germany 24
FIN goals : Timonen 2, T. Ruutu, J. Ruutu, Pitkanen
Finnish defenseman SAMI LEPISTO (18) of the Phoenix Coyotes dumps former National Hockey Leaguer JOHN TRIPP (21) of Germany in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (Reuters photo)
Finland forward TUOMO RUUTU (15) is tracked by German defenseman CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF (10) of the Olympic host city’s NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, at the 2010 Winter Games. (AP photo)
Patzold stretches in vain to stop Ruutu. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
Finland goalie NIKLAS BACKSTROM of the Minnesota Wild makes a glove save admist the gaze of German forward THOMAS GREILINGER (39) of the Hamburg Freezers at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Reuters photo)
Late in the first period, Backstrom blocks the bid of German forward MANUEL KLINGE (9) of EC Kassel for what is, perhaps, the Finnish goaltender’s best save of the game. (Reuters photo)