Entering the 2014 Olympics, Patrick Kane claimed, "It's gold or bust," when asked about the United States' goals for the Sochi tournament.
In a span of under 24 hours, gold quickly rusted into no medal at all.
A day after losing to Canada in the semifinals, team USA dropped the bronze medal game to Finland 5-0. And like the loss to the Canadians, it only took one sequence and a matter of seconds to spell the end for USA.
Both teams showed no signs of complacency early on despite playing in the consolation game. The United States came out and peppered Tuukka Rask with shots, forcing the Bruins goalie to make 11 saves in the first period.
While Finland could only muster eight shots in the game's opening 20 minutes, there were frantic sequences that nearly led to goals. A net-front scramble midway through the period not only forced Jonathan Quick to make multiple saves, but also led to Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Suter blocking shots in the blue paint.
The best chance of the frame came with just under seven minutes to play. While defending in his own zone, Kimmo Timonen fired a broken stick at a USA puck carrier, resulting in a penalty shot. Patrick Kane got the call for the United States, but got in too deep and couldn't get a shot off against Rask.
If the United States got the better of the play in the first, the Finns certainly looked like a team trying to force the effort to start the second. A much more aggressive, effective Finland squad opened the second by applying pressure to the United States in all three zones.
The Finns would reap the benefits of that pressure only 1:27 into the second period, when Mikael Granlund hit Teemu Selanne in transition. The Finnish captain brought the puck into the United States' zone off the rush, and managed to beat Quick on a backhand shot on the blocker side.
The Finns wouldn't wait long to double their edge.
On the ensuing faceoff, Finland took control of the puck off a turnover. After McDonagh got caught puck-hawing at the blue line, Jori Lehtera broke in with Jussi Jokinen on a 2-on-1. Ryan Suter tried to make a play, but Lehtera put a cross-ice pass right on Jokinen's tape, and the Penguins forward beat Quick to make it 2-0 just 11 seconds after Selanne's initial tally.
The United States' speed would continue to generate offensive chances, and Kane would draw his second penalty shot of the day after breaking ahead of the Finland defense and getting slashed by Leo Komarov.
As Kane descended on Rask for a second time, there were no stick handles, and while Kane did get a shot off, it rang off the post and kept the game at 2-0.
Searching for a goal to cut into the deficit in the third period, Kane took a tripping penalty just over four minutes into the frame. On the ensuing power play, Finland got its third goal of the game—just as the two minute minor expired—on a point blast from Juuso Hietanen to make it 3-0.
A frustrated USA team put itself in another shorthanded situation just over four minutes later as T.J. Oshie was called for interference. With the Finns working on a man advantage, Granlund hit Selanne in the slot, and the captain netted his second of the game to push it to a 4-0 Finland lead.
Olli Maata would make it 5-0 Finland on the team's third power play goal of the third period later on, and Finland would cruise to the victory.
Rask, who was held out of the semifinal game due to illness, bounced back strong in net for Finland with 26 saves in the shutout. Selanne, who is likely in his last Olympics at age 43, scored twice, including the game winner.
For Finland, its their sixth medal all-time in men's hockey, and their fourth bronze.