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GAMEDAY: USA Takes on Finland, Win and U.S. Plays for Gold

By USA Hockey, 01/04/21, 7:45AM EST


Puck drops at 9:30pm ET on NHL Network, U.S. Looks to Avenge Last Year’s Quarterfinal Loss

EDMONTON, Alberta – Win, and you’re playing for gold. That’s the message in the United States locker room heading into tonight’s semifinal matchup against Finland. This game means something special for the eight returners from last year’s squad. Finland ended any hope for a medal in 2020, after winning 1-0 thanks to a late third period power play goal. Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) stopped 28 of 29 shots in the game.

The U.S. holds the advantage over Finland in their last 10 matchups, with a 5-2-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. However, Finland has back-to-back wins over the United States including the 2019 gold-medal game. Finland hasn’t won three consecutive games over USA since 2003.

Both teams enter tonight’s contest evenly matched, with 4-0-0-1 records. The U.S. ranks second in tournament play with 30 goals, while Finland ranks third. The U.S power play ranks first at 42.11%, while Finland ranks second at 40.00%. USA has been stingy with shots allowed, only giving up 101 shots. Finland is tied for second, allowing 112 total shots.

Despite the even numbers across the matchup, the most important thing will be discipline for both teams. Both power plays are lethal, and the U.S. so far has been the most disciplined team in the tournament. That will need to stay consistent, as the pre-tournament exhibition proved. The U.S. defeated Finland, 3-2, but both Finnish goals came while on the power play.

Today’s Opponent: Finland

Despite recent success, the U.S. is 13-3-0-18-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) all-time against Finland. In their last 10 matchups the U.S. holds an 5-2-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) advantage, outscoring Finland 34-24. Team USA will look to improve its all-time semifinal 1-0 record over Finland.

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