Posted: Sat February 21, 1998 at 4:09 a.m ESTFinland 3, Canada 2 -------------------
Finland captured its second straight Olympic bronze medal and ended a stunningly disappointing tournament for Canada with a 3-2 victory as Ville Peltonen scored the go-ahead goal on the power play 17 seconds into the third period.
Peltonen, moved onto Finland's top line when leading scorer Teemu Selanne was scratched with a stomach injury, shook off a check by Steve Yzerman in the left faceoff circle and regained his balance before wristing a weak shot between goaltender Patrick Roy's pads for his second goal of the tournament.
The tie-breaking tally came 33 seconds into Adam Foote's tripping penalty.
Rod Brind'Amour and Brendan Shanahan scored for Canada, which entered as the pre-tournament co-favorite but came away without a medal for the first time since the Calgary Olympics in 1988.
Backup goalie Ari Sulander made 32 saves for Finland, which won its third Olympic hockey medal.
Both teams were playing less than 24 hours after losing in the semifinals. The Finns rallied from a 3-0 deficit before losing to Russia , 7-4, while Canada was beaten in a thrilling shootout by the Czech Republic , 2-1.
Finland struck first in this contest as Jari Kurri scored a power-play goal 3:33 into the opening period. With Canada's Steve Yzerman in the penalty box for holding, Kurri took a perfect centering pass from Mika Nieminen and flicked a one-timer between the pads of Roy. Kurri and Roy are teammates on the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League.
Team Canada tied it with 3:10 to go in the period as Brind'Amour also got his first goal of the tournament. Finland's Saku Koivu failed on a clearing attempt and Sulander made a left pad save on Foote's blast from the right side. But the rebound came to Brind'Amour, who fired into an empty net as Sulander tried to recover.
Koivu atoned for his mistake by setting up Jere Lehtinen's tie-breaking goal just 33 seconds later. Koivu, the Finnish captain, centered from behind the net to Lehtinen, who beat Roy to the glove side for his fourth Olympic goal.
Canada got the only goal of the second period, tying it again after Mark Recchi kept the puck in the zone along the left boards. He passed to Wayne Gretzky, who found Shanahan at the bottom of the right faceoff circle and he shoveled a shot past Sulander for his second goal of the tournament.
It was the only goal in five power-play chances for Canada, which was just 3-for-19 in the tournament.
The Canadians had a chance to take the lead minutes later with a 5-on-3 advantage after Raimo Helminen was penalized for high-sticking and Peltonen went off for interference at the same time. But Sulander helped the Finns kill off both penalties.
Sulander was tested several times in the third period, making a stick save on Keith Primeau's deflection with 10 minutes remaining, some six minutes after Scott Stevens' shot was deflected off the goalpost.
Team Canada left wing Shayne Corson left late in the second period with a groin injury and did not return.
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