BEIJING, February 20. /TASS/. The Finnish national ice hockey squad defeated reigning Olympic champions Team ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) 2-1 on Sunday in the final of the men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
The goals in the final Olympics ice hockey match in Beijing were scored by ROC’s Mikhail Grigorenko (on the 8th minute of the opening period), by Finland’s Ville Pokka and Hannes Bjorninen (on the 24th and 41st minutes of the match respectively).
"We played against a very tough Russian team and controlled the game almost all the time," the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) quoted Finland’s Head Coach Jukka Jalonen as saying after the match.
"They didn’t have many scoring chances and our goalie was excellent in the net. I’m happy for the Finnish people," Jalonen stated.
Finland’s Sakari Manninen, who led his national team at the 2022 Olympics with seven points scored, said after beating the Team ROC "It feels unbelievable."
"There's so many feelings going on and you can't describe all of them, but the first ones are that it is amazing," Manninen said. "We did the hard work and got this gold medal."
This is the first gold of the Finnish national ice hockey team at the Olympics as they previously won at the Winter Games two silver and four bronze medals. Finland gained its membership with the IIHF in 1928, played its first IIHF World Championship in 1939 in Switzerland, and made its Olympic debut in 1952.
Commenting on the results of the match, ROC ice hockey team captain Vadim Shipachyov said: "The game didn’t live up to our hopes."
"In the third period, we gave up a goal on the first shift, and after that it was hard to get through the Finnish defense," Shipashyov commented. "We tried to fight back, we got the puck to their zone. We waited for them to make a mistake, but they played with discipline."
At the previous Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang in 2018, the Russian national ice hockey team played under the status of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) and eventually won the Olympic gold defeating Germany 4-3 in sudden death overtime in the final match.
Russian ice hockey players reached the final of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games after defeating the Swedish national squad in a penalty shootout during their semifinal encounter on Friday. The national ice hockey team of Finland advanced to the final match of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China with the 2-0 win over Slovakia earlier that day.
The bronze of the Olympics 2022 ice hockey tournament went to Slovakia, who devastated Sweden 4-0 in the match for the 3rd place on Saturday.
The national team of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) finished the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China in the 9th place of the medal standings having bagged six gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze medals (32 in total).
The men’s ice hockey final match on Sunday was the closing sports competition of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China and the Games' official closing ceremony will be held later in the day, with its kick-off time scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Beijing time (3:00 p.m. Moscow time).
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing ran between February 4 and 20. During the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022).
Russian athletes at Beijing-2022
Due to international sanctions against Russian sports, athletes from Russia are competing in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing under the flag and logo of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) instead of the Russian national flag and state emblem.
The national anthem of Russia is also under sanctions at the Olympics in China. The First Piano Concerto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky was selected to be played at awarding ceremonies for Russian Olympians in Beijing.