The heavily favored Russians are back in the gold medal ice hockey game at this year’s Winter Olympics, just like they were expected to be. This highly anticipated hockey game will be played on Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 10:10 p. m. central time.
This run for Russia has not been very dominant compared to four years ago, but they are ultimately just 1 – victory away from winning back – to – back consecutive men’s ice hockey tournaments at the Olympic Winter Games without NHL players participating. It would be a gold none the less, and the Russians are hoping to finish it all off versus Finland on Sunday, February 20th, 2022 in Beijing, China.
The team representing the Russian Olympic Committee scored just 8 – goals over their 4 – victories during these 2022 Winter Olympics, and they have heavily relied upon their 25 – year – old goaltender Ivan Fedotov, who has been an intricate part of the reason that the Russians have got to the men’s ice hockey finals as he made 6 – saves in the semifinal shootout versus Sweden.
Fedotov has acquired a 1.53 goals – against average as well as .944 save percentage throughout this hockey tournament. Fedotov looks very much like the Steely veteran Vasily Koshechkin, who was the starter back in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
This is not that squad of hockey players, which loaded up with now – Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov and long – time NHL superstars such as Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk. Only 7 – guys are back from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games which includes 6 that played in the finals versus Germany.
This present opportunity comes against a very strong opponent in Finland, who has yet to lose a game as of now. The Finns erased a 3 – goal deficit to defeat the stout Sweden team in the preliminary round, and they cruised to the finals with their trademark characteristics of quality structure and sound goal – tending.
The Russians are looking for their 5th – title at the last 6 – Winter Olympic Games with 4 – different names due to doping sanctions and as well as the break – up of the Soviet Union when the National Hockey League has not participated. Finland is going for the first Olympic ice hockey medal in the history of their nation.
Finland seamlessly arose as one of the top teams at the Winter Olympics Games, and they can match the Russians no matter what style of play develop out on the ice. There’s former NHL talent such their captain Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov, and Sami Vatanen on their team roster, and Jukka Jalonen is an excellent fit as their head coach. They are a group of hockey players mostly from European ice hockey pro leagues which is quite impressive.
Over a dozen of the Finnish players have come from the Russia – based KHL, so there is a plethora of familiarity on both sides of this highly – competitive match up. Few people out there expect a back and forth and high – scoring final. It should be a very tight game this weekend with a gold medal on the line!
Sateri who just so happened to play for the Florida Panthers during the 2018 – 2019 NHL season, leads these Olympics with an incredible save percentage of .965. Finland can also get the fucking puck to the back net of the net, with Sakari Makkinen being amongst the men’s ice hockey tournament leaders in goals scored.
Finland is back in the men’s ice hockey finals at the Winter Olympic Games for the 1st – time since 2006 in which they lost to Sweden by only 1 – goal. Finland’s general manager, Jere Lehtinen, played in that particular game, and he has put together one hell of a team that is on the verge of making history for Finland.
The Russian players seem not to be terribly worried regarding the fact that they are playing Finland in the finals as they are confident, they can win gold if they play up to their full – potential.
“We were building up through the tournament,” the Russian forward Damir Sharipzyanov explained. “Slow start, not a lot of goals, but we are building, and I like where we’re going and we got to the finals and now it’s the game of our lives for everyone.”
“It’s a different team,” the Russian defenseman Nikita Nesterov stated, “A lot of younger guys, and (now) we got an opportunity. Game after game we play better, and I think it’s (our) best game in the final.”
“Every tournament, teams could look good on the paper, but we know that you still need to deliver on the ice,” says the Finnish forward Harri Pesonen. “We’ve managed to control the situation where we are not the underdogs. That shows that we are mentally strong, which is a good thing.”
“It’s huge for everybody individually, as a team and as a hockey country,” the goalie for Finland, Harri Sateri, expressed. “It is a big thing.”
“We think it’s going to be a really tight game — a lot of battles and really tight neutral zone,” the Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko, one of the seven returnees from 2018, disclosed. “Both teams have great goaltending, so it’s going to be a really, really tough game.”
“Going to an Olympic final is like a dream,” the Finnish forward, Sakari Makkinen, expressed. “You dream of those kinds of moments, but at the same time (I try to) focus on the right things, not think about it too much and prepare for the next game.”
Whyno, Stephen. “Favored Russians back in final at Olympics, now face Finland”. The Associated Press. February 18, 2022.