Russia received a tough blow on Wednesday when they lost in the men’s hockey quarterfinals, losing the spot in the semifinals to Finland and failing to medal in the event.

The loss comes as a surprise to many around the world, as Russia is known for their hockey prowess and was considered a favorite to take home an Olympic medal in the event. Fans who gathered to watch the game, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, looked on with disappointment as their nation’s team failed to take the win.

Russia was eliminated after losing to Finland 3-1. Russia’s hockey team has been lauded as the pride and joy of the country going into these Sochi Olympics, and the loss was clearly unexpected. Team Russia started off strong in the quarterfinals, scoring the first goal of the game in the first eight minutes. Iilya Kovalchuk scored with a power shot felt around the world, but Team Russia failed to follow up the early goal.

Heading into the second period, Finland had already eclipsed the Russians with a 2-1 lead. Finnland scored their last goal in the first five minutes of the second period after Team Russia’s Alexei Emelin was called for tripping.

According to ESPN, this is the third consecutive Olympics in which Russia has not medaled in Men’s Ice Hockey. They have been unable to breach the podium since winning bronze in 2002.

Finland will now head into the semifinals playing against Sweden. Meanwhile, the USA Ice Hockey team remains in competition for gold and is set to play against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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