Finland beats U.S. in shootout to advance to semis

Updated: May 10, 2007, 5:01 PM ET
Associated Press

MOSCOW -- The United States lost in the world hockey championships Thursday when Dallas Stars winger Jere Lehtinen scored the lone goal in a penalty shootout to give Finland a 5-4 victory and a berth in the semifinals.

Earlier, Matthew Lombardi scored two goals to lead Canada into the semifinals with a 5-1 win over Switzerland.

Canada will face Sweden. The Canadians beat the Swedes in the 2003 and '04 finals.

Finland will play Russia on Saturday.

The Americans played catch-up the entire game against Finland.

"They came out hard at the beginning and took it to us but we battled back," Colorado Avalanche center Tyler Arnason said. "It's disappointing to lose in a penalty shootout but in a tournament like this, where you play a lot of games, it's part of the game I guess."

After five Americans and four Finns failed to find the back of the net in the penalty shootout, Lehtinen calmly skated in to roof his shot under U.S. goalie John Grahame's cross bar.

"It's kind of a relieved feeling. I was a little nervous," the 1999 Stanley Cup champion and 1995 world champion said. "But our goalie, [Kari] Lehtonen, kind of gave it to me easier because he saved the shot from the U.S. shooter before me."

Tomi Kallio scored a power-play goal at 15:32 of the second period to put the Finns ahead 4-3, but Andrew Hutchinson scored the equalizer on another power play 14:20 into the final period, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Phil Kessel to send the game into overtime.

"Our team played with a lot of heart," U.S. coach Mike Sullivan said. "They showed a lot of resilience. There was no quit in them. This might have been their best game of the tournament even if they lost."

Tuomo Ruutu made it 1-0 for Finland at 17:03 into the match, getting the puck away from the boards before firing a slap shot that got under Grahame's right leg.

Tobias Petersen tied the score 48 seconds into the second period, while the Americans were short-handed. Chad Larose made a perfect pass across the slot to the Edmonton Oilers' forward, who one-timed it over Lehtonen's glove.

The two teams traded goals twice more, with scoring by Finns Pekka Saravo and Jari Viuhkola and Americans Arnason and Lee Stempniak.

Finland earned the bronze at the last worlds in Latvia. The U.S. got bronze in 2004.

Lombardi first found the net for Canada after stealing the puck from Swiss forward Sandy Jeannin and backhanding it past goalie Jonas Hiller five minutes from the end of the first period.

Jamal Mayers made it 2-0 at 9:05 of the second period, but the Swiss struck back when Paul di Pietro's slap shot beat Cam Ward 38 seconds later.

Rick Nash used a two-man advantage make it 3-1, banging in a loose puck in the crease at 14:40, and Lombardi knocked in a stray puck 6:03 into the final period for his sixth goal of the tournament.

"It's just going to the net and pucks are finding their way to my stick and then into the net," Lombardi said. "Obviously getting the opportunity to play with Rick Nash and Shane Doan is so exciting. Those guys are playing so well, I'm reaping benefits from it."

Shea Weber scored the final goal with a long slap shot less than three minutes from the final buzzer.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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