After being knocked down by the United States in Friday’s semifinal loss, it looked like Finland was down for the count.
But the Finns got back up on their skates, scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to beat Slovakia 5-3 in Saturday’s bronze-medal game.
Oli Jokinen had two goals, including the game winner, as the Finns erased a two-goal deficit after two periods for their fifth Olympic medal since the 1988 Calgary Games.
Finland’s Jere Lehtinen, Ville Peltonen and Saku Koivu matched a record with their fourth Olympic ice hockey medal.
Sami Salo, Niklas Hagman and Valtteri Flippula added goals for the Finns, who took home silver in the men’s tournament four years ago in Turin.
Pavol Demitra had one goal and two assists for Slovakia for a tournament-leading 10 points heading into Sunday’s gold-medal game between Canada and the U.S.
Marian Hossa scored his fourth goal of the Games before adding an assist to give him nine points, good for second behind his teammate. Marian Gaborik also scored for Slovakia, who has never reached the podium in men’s Olympic hockey.
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, coming off a shaky semifinal game in which he allowed four goals on seven shots, had 19 saves in the win.
Demitra’s second goal of the tournament came shorthanded with less than two minutes to play in the second, giving his team a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
With their tournament on the line, the Finns came out flying in the final period.
Hagman’s power-play goal at 5:06 cut Slovakia’s lead to one with 15 minutes left to play, before Jokinen tied the game up just 90 seconds later.
Jokinen would add another two minutes later with the man advantage to give Finland a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
Flippula’s empty-net goal at 19:49 cooled off a late Slovenian rally to preserve the win.
Finland outshot Slovakia 33-22, going 3-for-8 on the power play. Slovakia scored twice in seven tries with the man advantage.
Teemu Selanne, the all-time leader in tournament scoring, was held without a point in what was likely his final Olympic appearance.