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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finland Hands Russia Surprise Defeat

ReutersFinland's Kimmo Timonen trying to clear Russian forward Igor Larionov from the crease and protect goalie Jani Hurme on Monday.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Finland scored a surprise win over Russia on Monday to set up a showdown with resurgent Canada in the Olympic tournament's quarterfinal knockout round.

With Sweden taking first place in Group C, a battle between Canada and the Czech Republic ended in a 3-3 tie, handing the reigning champion second place and giving the Canadians third place.

Germany, trounced by Sweden 7-1 Monday night, finished last in Group C and will face the United States in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, while Sweden will play Belarus.

Canada faces Finland, and the Czechs have been handed the unenviable task of lining up against the unpredictable Russians.

The United States clinched top spot in Group D, trouncing Belarus 8-1, while Finland's 3-1 victory over previously unbeaten Russia vaulted it into second place. Russia ends the round in third with winless Belarus last.

"I'm happy with the result, but I'm more happy with the way we played," said Finnish coach Hannu Aravirta.

"After a bad loss to the United States and an easy win over Belarus we weren't sure what this team is capable of doing."

Pavel Bure, who was the group's top scorer with nine goals, gave Russia a 1-0 lead at 7:49 of the first period.

The "Russian Rocket" went one-on-one with Finnish goaltender Jani Hurme and beat him with one of his patented moves, sliding a backhander between the goalie's pads.

The Russians had a chance for a two-goal lead less than a minute later, but Sergei Samsonov hit the post with a wrist shot. Bure also hit the post two minutes later.

The Finns, who only had two shots on goal in the first period, then came alive, outshooting the Russians 27-15 over the final 40 minutes.

"We talked in the locker room after the first period and said if we continue to play like that they are just going to kill us," said Finnish captain Teemu Selanne.

"[The first period] was similar to our game against the U.S., but this time we were able to change things around."

Selanne missed an open goal after being set up by Mikko Eloranta eight minutes into the second period but redeemed himself just two minutes later when he skated all alone against Russian goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and beat him with a slick backhand move.

Eloranta gave the Finns a 2-1 lead with just over three minutes left in the middle period after a nice feed from Juha Ylonen on a two-on-one break.

Jere Lehtinen, who hit a crossbar in the second period, sealed the win just 33 seconds into the third for Finland.

Bure said his team lacked intensity in the last two periods.

"We played well in the first, but they began playing much better in the second period and we lost some intensity in our game," he said.

Russia coach Vyacheslav Fetisov agreed.

"We just stopped skating after the first period, the Finns realized it and turned the game upside down," he said.

For the first time since arriving in Salt Lake last week, Canada feels good about its game and not before time.

The team shook off two disappointing outings to put on a strong showing against the Czechs, who have been in good form right from the start.

Canada has improved vastly since losing its opener 5-2 to Sweden, and heads into the quarterfinals with confidence high.

Another good sign for the Canadians was the return of Mario Lemieux, who was back in the lineup after missing one game with a sore hip.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star made his presence felt throughout the match, scoring the team's first two goals. Joe Nieuwendyk's one-timer with just over three minutes left to play tied the score after the Czechs looked as though they would win.