Game Recap

Granlund, five others score for Finland in opener

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

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Granlund, five others score for Finland in opener
Finland 8, Austria 4

SOCHI -- The depth of talent for Finland allowed a misstep to be avoided in its opening game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Austria scored twice in the first 10 minutes, including a shocking goal on the first shift, before Finland rallied with goals by six players in an 8-4 victory at Bolshoy Ice Dome in a Group B preliminary-round game Thursday afternoon.

The Finns know that is no recipe for success in a tournament loaded with superpowers.

"I think we have to get back to being tighter defensively," said Finland defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who said the early start (noon local time) and the larger ice surface contributed to some of his team's sluggishness. "Hopefully we can score three or four goals a game and that should be enough against these good countries. That was [the] first game, probably not the best one Finland played, but we take it and move on."


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Finland was able to overcome a hat trick by Austria forward Michael Grabner. Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild and Jarkko Immonen, a late addition as an injury replacement, each scored twice for the winners.

The victory was tempered slightly by the absence of Teemu Selanne, the Finland captain. The Anaheim Ducks forward appeared to be injured in the first period and did not play during the final 40 minutes.

Finland coach Erkka Westerlund said Selanne suffered a "small upper-body injury" and should be available Friday against Norway.

Grabner of the New York Islanders, one of three NHL players on the Austrian roster, shocked the Finns when he rifled a one-timer past goalie Tuukka Rask, of the Boston Bruins, 36 seconds into the game. The speedy wing would add two third-period goals to complete the first hat trick of this tournament.

"It's always nice and fun to score goals, but at the same time you want to win games," Grabner said. "Unfortunately, today we gave them too many chances and they capitalized on most of them."

A little less than five minutes after Grabner's first goal, Granlund tied the game 1-1. Austria's Thomas Hundertpfund then gave his team a second unexpected lead, with goals on two of its first three shots.

Hundertpfund's goal served as a wake-up call for the Finns.

"We weren't ready; they got the goal and even battled back a couple of times there," said Rask, who finished with 14 saves. "It's not a good start, but a good thing that we never let our guard down, we just kept going."

The defensive breakdowns prevalent on the first two goals were temporarily eradicated (they returned in the third period) and the offense found its stride, scoring two goals in eight seconds in the final minute of the first period.

First, Olli Maatta, the precocious defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins, fired a low slap shot through traffic to beat Austrian goalie Bernhard Starkbaum for a 3-2 lead at 19:25. The goal was redemption for Maatta, who was one the ice for each of Austria's first two goals and had Hundertpfund's bounce off his skate past Rask.

Immonen then scored by pouncing on a rebound and shoveling it home with 27 seconds remaining for a 4-2 lead.

"The last two goals in the last minute, they hurt a lot," Grabner said. "To end the period 2-2, it's a lot better feeling than 4-2. It's always tough because now you have to play some comeback hockey. When you get scored on in the last minute, it gets the morale of the team down a little bit and then you have to work it back up. But it is tough against a team like that that is so skilled and so fast."

Sami Lepisto scored Finland's other goal in the first period. Finland, expected to battle Canada for first place in Group B, added to its lead with two goals in the second.

Petri Kontiola, moved up after the departure of Selanne, figured in both. His pass set up Jussi Jokinen's rebound goal, and 27 seconds later Kontiola pounced on a rebound of a Granlund shot and banked it off Starkbaum for Finland's sixth goal.

Selanne played eight shifts in the first period, totaling 5:27. He had an assist on the first goal by Granlund, registered a shot and was plus-1. During the first period, Finnish trainers were working on Selanne's neck area while he sat on the bench.

Starkbaum made 44 saves in a performance which was, at times, brilliant.

"He is not the reason we lost this game," said Austrian coach Manny Viveiros said, who blamed his team's indecisiveness for the unflattering scoreline.

Austria plays Canada, the group favorite, Friday.


FIN  4 2 2 - 8
AUT 2 0 2 - 4

First Period
1. AUT, Grabner (Raffl) 0:36
2. FIN, Granlund (Selanne, Vatanen) 5:15
3. AUT, Hundertpfund (Vanek) 9:19
4. FIN, Lepisto (Jokinen, Ruutu) 11:23
5. FIN, Maatta (Jokinen) 19:25
6. FIN, Immonen (Lehtera, Vaananen) 19:33
Penalties - Trattnig AUT (boarding) 5:26, Barkob FIN (high sticking) 14:57

Second Period
7. FIN, Jokinen (Kontiola) 1:43
8. FIN, Kontiola (Granlund) 12:10
Penalties - none

Third Period
9. AUT, Grabner (Lebler, Raffl) 1:29
10. FIN, Immonen - PPG (Barkov, Vatanen) 11:25
11. AUT, Grabner (unassisted) 14:22
12. FIN, Granlund - PPG (Timonen, Vatanen) 4:07
Penalties - Welser AUT (cross checking) 3:40, Korpikoski FIN (roughing) 3:40, Lakos AUT (roughing) 4:41, Lebler AUT (boarding) 9:26, Raffl AUT (hooking) 16:26.

AUT   6   8  6 - 20
FIN  15  19   18 - 52

Goaltenders (goals-shots against) - AUT: Starkbaum (L, 52 shots, 44 saves); FIN: Rask (W, 20 shots, 16 saves).

Power plays (goals-chances) - AUT: 0-2; FIN: 2-5

# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
50 J. Aaltonen 6'0" 196 6/4/1985 Ii, FIN
16 A. Barkov FLA 6'2" 205 9/2/1995 Tampere, FIN
64 M. Granlund MIN 5'10" 186 2/26/1992 Oulu, FIN
26 J. Immonen 6'0" 198 4/19/1982 Rantasalmi, FIN
36 J. Jokinen PIT 5'11" 198 4/1/1983 Kalajoki, FIN
12 O. Jokinen WPG 6'2" 210 12/5/1978 Kuopio, FIN
71 L. Komarov 5'10" 187 1/23/1987 Narva, EST
27 P. Kontiola 6'0" 205 10/4/1984 Seinajoki, FIN
28 L. Korpikoski PHX 6'1" 205 7/28/1986 Turku, FIN
21 J. Lehterä 6'1" 201 12/23/1987 Helsinki, FIN
41 A. Pihlström 5'11" 181 10/22/1984 Vantaa, FIN
15 T. Ruutu CAR 6'0" 205 2/16/1983 Vantaa, FIN
23 S. Salminen 5'10" 165 5/31/1988 Pori, FIN
8 T. Selänne ANA 6'0" 209 7/3/1970 Helsinki, FIN
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
5 L. Kukkonen 6'0" 187 9/18/1981 Oulu, FIN
38 J. Hietanen 5'10" 187 6/14/1985 Hämeenlinna, FIN
18 S. Lepistö 6'1" 194 10/17/1984 Espoo, FIN
3 O. Määttä PIT 6'2" 206 8/22/1994 Jyväskylä, FIN
6 S. Salo TBL 6'3" 215 9/2/1974 Turku, FIN
44 K. Timonen PHI 5'10" 194 3/18/1975 Kuopio, FIN
4 O. Väänänen 6'4" 216 8/18/1980 Vantaa, FIN
45 S. Vatanen ANA 5'10" 183 6/3/1991 Jyväskylä, FIN
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
32 K. Lehtonen DAL 6'4" 210 11/16/1983 Helsinki, FIN
31 A. Niemi SJS 6'2" 210 8/29/1983 Vantaa, FIN
40 T. Rask BOS 6'2" 185 3/10/1987 Savonlinna, FIN
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
40 M. Grabner NYI 6'0" 186 10/5/1987 Villach, AUT
89 R. Herburger 5'10" 165 1/2/1989 Dornbirn, AUT
27 T. Hundertpfund 6'2" 187 12/14/1989 Klagenfurt, AUT
25 M. Iberer 6'2" 201 4/29/1985 Graz, AUT
18 T. Koch 5'8" 174 8/17/1983 Klagenfurt, AUT
15 M. Latusa 5'11" 194 1/23/1984 Wien, AUT
77 B. Lebler 6'3" 212 7/16/1988 Klagenfurt, AUT
14 A. Nodl 6'2" 198 2/28/1987 Vienna, AUT
10 D. Oberkofler 6'0" 163 7/16/1988 Graz, AUT
12 M. Raffl PHI 6'0" 195 12/1/1988 Villach, AUT
5 T. Raffl 6'4" 205 6/19/1986 Villach, AUT
91 O. Setzinger 6'0" 196 7/11/1983 Horn, AUT
26 T. Vanek NYI 6'0" 217 1/19/1984 Vienna, AUT
20 D. Welser 5'11" 187 2/16/1983 Klagenfurt, AUT
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
41 M. Altmann 6'4" 207 11/4/1986 Wien, AUT
48 F. Iberer 6'1" 198 12/7/1982 Graz, AUT
64 A. Lakos 6'8" 236 7/29/1979 Wien, AUT
55 R. Lukas 5'10" 185 8/29/1978 Wien, AUT
22 T. Pöck 6'1" 205 12/2/1981 Klagenfurt, AUT
51 M. Trattnig 6'1" 212 4/22/1979 Graz, AUT
7 S. Ulmer 5'10" 165 12/1/1990 Dornbirn, AUT
4 G. Unterluggauer 5'10" 194 8/15/1976 Villach, AUT
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
24 M. Lange 5'10" 181 4/13/1985 Klagenfurt, AUT
29 B. Starkbaum 6'1" 196 2/19/1986 Wien, AUT
30 R. Swette 6'0" 174 8/21/1988 Lustenau, AUT
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