We are at Fat Heads in the South Side to enjoy the great atmosphere as we live blog Team USA's semifinal contest against Finland. It should be a close contest as the American's look to earn a berth in the Gold Medal Game for the first time since 2002.
The puck drops and we're underway.17:54:
The American's grab an early lead thanks to a muffed play by Finnish netminder Mikka Kiprusoff. Phil Kessel was pressuring a loose puck rolling into the Finland zone. Kiprusoff came out of his net to play the puck. But Kiprusoff threw it right to Ryan Malone, who easily deposited the rubber into the vacant cage. USA 1, FINLAND 0.
America looks strong in the early going. Lots of pressure on Kiprusoff and lots of chances. Keep it goin boys!14:38:
A couple notable Finnish players in Penguins history: Lasse Pirjeta, Tuomas Gronman, Jarkko Ruutu, Janne Laukkanen and Johan Hedberg. How come these guys didn't make Team Finland? (he asked sarcastically). 13:34:
Team USA strikes again!!!! Zach Parise scored his third goal of the tournament with a power-play tally. Stastny collected the puck to the right of the crease and made a beautiful pass to a wide-open Parise. The New Jersey product lifted a shot past a sprawling Kiprusoff for the goal. USA 2, FINLAND 0. 11:24:
The Americans are pouring it on now. Erik Johnson has given Team USA a three-goal cushion nearly halfway through the first period. Former Penguin Ryan Malone made a great play to win a loose puck battle. Pavelski had a chance in front that was stopped by Kiprusoff. The rebound caromed to Johnson in the far circle. Johnson's shot found its way into the netting. USA 3, FINLAND 0.9:52:
The American's are breaking out. in a big way. Patrick Kane carried the puck slowly down the near side. His initial shot was stopped by Kiprusoff but he collected his own rebound and backhanded a shot over the helpless Finnish netminder. USA 4, FINLAND 0.
The Fins have made a change in goal, pulling Kiprusoff and replacing him with Backstrom. Kiprusoff allowed four goals on seven shots faced. The Americans are attacking the net with force. They're out for justice.7:29:
The Americans welcomed Backstrom with the same pleasantry as Kiprusoff, by burning him. Kane took a pass while skating down the far side. He then ripped a shot under the blocker, far side into the goal. USA 5, FINLAND 0.
Just 15 seconds after scoring their fifth goal, Team USA is making this game a complete joke by adding their sixth tally just 13 minutes into the game. Langenbrunner hit Stastny for a two-on-one opportunity. Stastny made no mistake by sniping a shot into the twine from 10 feet out. USA 6, FINLAND 0.6:00:
I know it's still early but it looks like Team Finland is finnish-ed (get it? bad joke I know. I have to credit my good pal Boom Boom. Oh, ladies Boom Boom is single. Check him out)
And the first period comes to a close with Team USA holding a 6-0 advantage over Team Finland. The American's came out with a purpose and were completely dominant over Finland. There are still two periods to go before USA can gain a berth in the Gold Medal game, but right now things are looking good. Quite good. SECOND PERIOD
The U.S. and Finland are back on the ice as the Americans look to build upon their 6-0 lead.17:58:
USA kills off a penalty and we're back to even strength. (By the way, there is an intense game of Golden Tee taking place behind me. Things are getting heated. They may come to blows). 14:22: Brooks Orpik
gets a nice hit in for USA. The commentators seem to have spotlighted Orpik and Malone, but I couldn't hear what was said because of the music playing here. I'm sure it was quite complimentary. 12:18:
Things get a little heated around the USA goal after Ryan "Miller Time" makes another save to keep Finland off the scoreboard. Former Penguins Jarkko Ruutu decided to take a short siesta on top of Miller, and the Americans took exception. 9:50:
People here already talking about USA's chances against Canada. I've got to admit, a 6-0 whooping does take some excitement out of the game. But I'll definitely take it. 7:30:
I have to admit that blogging non-stop without commercials is quite difficult. That said, I love the constant action. 4:15:
The four of us at Fat Heads are trying to figure out if there are any Finnish celebrities. We've all drawn a blank. This is a job for Google. 1:00:
Great two-on-one chance for USA, but the shot was turned aside by Backstrom. For the record, we can't come up with any famous celebrities of Finnish decent. Google and Wikipedia bore no results. 0:00:
The second period comes to a close with the score still 6-0 in favor of the greatest country on earth. USA is just 20 minutes away from fighting for their Gold Medal dreams. It may be a stretch, but I'm predicting America hangs on for the W.
In between periods, Penguins.com's own Jason Seidling is looking up videos of Julianne Hough. Someone here at the bar claims to know her. This is how bored we are with this blow out. I guess you have to do what you can to pass the time. THIRD PERIOD20:00:
The US is 20 minutes from pay dirt. America goes on the power play and can really put the finishing touches on this game. Meanwhile, Penguins communications coordinator Erik Heasley
nearly kills the in-game blog with a spilled water on my computer. Party foul.17:38:
Team Finland kills off the American's power play. Now they just need to score six more goals (in addition to the 0 they've already scored) to tie this game up. Let's see if they can pull it off. 13:36:
The snow is really coming down hard here on the South Side. It's a beautiful sight to see. For the record, I'm officially bored with this game. Can we play Canada yet for the Gold? Can't they call the mercy rule and end this game now? 12:12: Brooks Orpik
and Saku Koivu have some mini scraps against each other. Orpik has been absolutely solid for USA this tournament. He's added a physical element, as well as a shutdown presence for the Americans. 11:20:
The Americans pulled stud Ryan Miller from the net to keep him fresh for the Gold Medal showown with Canada or Slovakia. Tim Thomas has taken over crease duties. 8:16:
American Bobby Ryan just took a shot off of the side of the face. He's holding a bag of ice to his ear. Hopefully he's OK. 5:14:
The Fins just eliminated the US shutout bid. Antii Miettinen blew a bullet slap shot over Thomas' shoulder for the tally. USA 6, FINLAND 1. 2:00:
We've hit the two-minute warning! Only 120 seconds from GOLD!!!!!1:00:
One minute remaining in the period. One minute. 0:00:
The crowd breaks into a "USA! USA!" chant as time expires. The Americans have earned a shot at gold on Sunday. Congratulations to Team USA, but the work isn't done just yet. Somewhere in the heavens, Herb Brooks is smiling.
The United States of America proves yet again that capitalism will always triumph over socialism! USA! USA!