Updated: Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:12 | By Agence France-Presse

Jeers as Russia's ice hockey stars crash out of Olympics

Russia crashed out of the Olympic Games hockey tournament Wednesday, slumping to a 3-1 defeat to Finland in a pitiful quarter-final performance which prompted jeers from their shell-shocked fans.


Jeers as Russia's ice hockey stars crash out of Olympics

Russia's Alexander Radulov (2ndL) tries to score past Finland's goalkeeper Tuukka Rask (3rdR), Olli Maatta (R) and Leo Komarov (C) during the men's ice hockey quarter-final at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 19, 2014 - by Alexander Nemenov

Despite taking the lead, Russia were rocked by a Finnish side which had also humiliated them 4-0 the last time they met in the Olympics at Turin in 2006.

"It sucks. There is no more I can say," admitted Russia's most high-profile star Alex Ovechkin, one of the faces of the Sochi Games, after his country's second successive Olympic quarter-final exit.

"We had a good start, scored a goal. But two mistakes costs us the game. We try to score another one, but all we can try is to score more goals. I have no more emotions."

Russian TV didn't hold back in its immediate post-match hyperbole.

"Dear friends, life has not come to an end. But this is a severe and annoying defeat," said the commentator on state television Channel One.

"We are all crying and we are crying with you too. We are hoping for revenge. Maybe one day there will be revenge. But maybe not with this team.”  

Teemu Selanne and Juhamatti Aaltonen scored consecutive first period goals for Finland, taking advantage of two slow-footed Russian defencemen to erase a one goal Russian lead and make it 2-1 for Finland. 

Mikael Granlund, who added the third, said Finland were worthy winners as they looked ahead to a Friday semi-final against Sweden.

"They had the first goal, but we bounced back really good, and throughout the game we defended well and didn't give them much. We made it tough on them," he said.

"We stick together, we play together. We know what we're doing, and we defend each other and that's how we can succeed and will succeed. I think we deserved to win."

- Failed to provide much offence -

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal for Russia who were also ousted in the quarters when they were clobbered by eventual champions Canada 7-3 four years ago in Vancouver.

Following his goal, Kovalchuk failed to provide much offence but he did commit several bad turnovers which led to Finnish scoring chances.

Russia's other big stars, like Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, struggled to score all tournament long despite logging more ice time and taking the majority of shots for their team.

Russia also fizzled out on the power play even though they had one of the more explosive units that included Malkin, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.

Heading into Wednesday's game they were just two-for-16 on the powerplay.

After Kovalchuk opened the scoring, Aaltonen scored on a great individual effort halfway through the period to tie the score 1-1. 

He stickhandled past Russian defenceman Nikita Nikitin and took a shot that squeezed between netminder Semyon Varlamov's arm and body.

Selanne then scored from in close to make it 2-1 late in the first period.

Granlund outraced Russian defenceman Vyacheslav Voinov for a loose puck in the neutral zone and drove to the net before passing to the middle to Selanne who beat Varlamov through the legs with 2:22 left in the first.

Granlund scored a power play goal 5:37 into the second to make it 3-1. Selanne took the shot in the slot and Granlund got the rebound and banged it home.

About a minute after Granlund's goal Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov replaced starter Varlamov with the backup Sergei Bobrovski.

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