TAMPERE, Finland – The U.S. Men’s National Team got goals from Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud, Minn.), Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.), but fell here to host Finland before a capacity crowd, 4-3, in the semifinals of the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship. Team USA will play Czechia for bronze tomorrow at 3:20 p.m. (8:20 a.m. ET) live on NHL Network.
“I give our guys a lot of credit,” said David Quinn, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “They left it out on the ice and came up just short. It’s a heart-breaking loss, but I reminded them that they have a chance to go home with a medal and I know they’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
The U.S. got off to a quick start as Schmidt’s shot from the point deflected off the stick of a Finnish defender in front and past netminder Jusi Olkinuora. Andrew Peeke (Parkland, Fla.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) drew assists on the play 1:04 into the contest.
Finland evened the game with 3:07 to play off in the opening stanza off a backhander in front from Miro Heiskanen got past U.S. netminder Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska.). The U.S. had good pressure on a late power play but couldn’t covert and the opening 20 minutes ended even at 1-1.
Finland took a 2-1 lead on the power play 4:11 into the second period, but the U.S. answered just more than two-and-a-half minutes later when Farrell came off the half-wall to the circle and fired one high into the top corner of the net after Schmidt kept the puck in at the line.
The hosts regained their one-goal advantage with Sami Vantanen’s tally at 9:40 coming after sustained pressure in the U.S. zone. Team USA controlled the puck in the Finnish end for the final two minutes of the period, creating multiple scoring chances, but Finland escaped with a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Finland extended its lead to 4-2 at 5:03 of the third, just two seconds after its power play expired. Gaudette nearly put in a rebound off an on-net dump in just five seconds later, but couldn’t convert. The U.S. got within one with Swayman pulled at 17:09 on a nice three-way passing play that started with Tynan, included Matt Boldy (Millis, Mass.) and finished with Gaudette firing one from the slot into the back of the net. Swayman was pulled again with 2:03 left, but despite a valiant effort, the U.S. couldn’t get the equalizer.
The U.S. played with just four healthy defensemen and used forward Sam Lafferty (Hollisaysburg, Penn.) on the blueline as well. Defenseman and captain Seth Jones (Frisco, Tex.) played 31:57 and was named Team USA’s Player of the Game. Swayman finished with 22 saves.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Finland, 28-26 … The U.S. was 0-1 on the power play, while Finland was 1-3 … The three best players of each team were announced after the contest with Seth Jones, Adam Gaudette and Jeremy Swayman earning the honors for Team USA … For more information about the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, click here.