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No medal for host as Finland eliminates Russia in Olympic quarterfinals

By John Vogl

Alexander Ovechkin was willing to give up his NHL career in order to lead host Russia to an Olympic medal. He didn't have to leave Washington, but he's not getting a medal, either.

Russia completed its third straight disappointing Olympics this morning with a 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Finland. The NHL agreed to go to the Sochi Games in part because Ovechkin said he was going no matter what, but it turned out to be a wasted trip.

Russia will be medal-less for the third Olympics in a row after Finland beat goaltender Semyon Varlamov three times on 15 shots. The Russians replaced Colorado's netminder with reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, but it didn't matter because the hosts beat Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask just once on 38 shots.

Russia opened the scoring with a power-play goal by Ilya Kovalchuk with 7:51 gone, but Finland answered before the end of the first period with goals by Juhamatti Aaltonen and Teemu Selanne. Mikael Grandlund scored early in the second to give the Finns a two-goal cushion.

Finland will face Sweden in the semifinals Friday. Sweden scored four times in the third period to pull away from Slovenia, 5-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for the shutout.

The other semifinal will be determined this afternoon. The United States plays Czech Republic, while Canada faces Ted Nolan, Zemgus Girgensons and Latvia. Both games are at noon Eastern time, and the winners will face each other.


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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