Winter Olympics: Finns outclass Swiss to win women's ice hockey bronze

Viivi Vainikka of Finland in action with Andrea Braendli and Lara Christen of Switzerland. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Finland crushed Switzerland 4-0 on Wednesday (Feb 16) to claim the Olympic women's ice hockey bronze medal, their fourth in the event.

Viivi Vainikka slipped the puck past Swiss netminder Andrea Braendli midway through the first period to draw first blood for the Finns, who unleashed a barrage of 47 shots on goal throughout the game.

They added to their advantage in the third period as three-time Olympian Susanna Tapani scored a shorthanded goal, defender Nelli Laitinen converted on a powerplay chance and four-time Olympian Michelle Karvinen also netted.

An elated Finnish team cheered and hugged in front of a subdued crowd inside Beijing's Wukesong Sports Centre as the final buzzer sounded, as some members of the vanquished Swiss team, who last reached the podium with a bronze medal effort in Sochi in 2014, sat slumped on the ice.

While Finland were unable to upgrade their past history of bronzes, the result marked sweet redemption from a disappointing start to the tournament.

After claiming second at the 2019 world championship, Finland were expected to make an impact in Beijing but lost their first three games after their coach left the country due to a family emergency.

They found their footing to record a shutout win over the Russian Olympic Committee in their final preliminary match and beat Japan 7-1 in the quarter-final.

The gold-medal match will be contested by arch-rivals Canada and the United States tomorrow.

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