Continued from page 1

The Americans weren’t done lighting the lamp, however, as they struck twice on replacement netminder Nicklas Backstrom.

Kane scored his second goal just 2:23 after his first, taking a feed from Brian Rafalski for a 5-0 lead and his third goal of the tournament.

Just :15 after Kane’s strike, Stastny deposited the puck past replacement goalie Nicklas Backstrom for a 6-0 lead with just 12:48 of time elapsed.

“It was a crazy 12 minutes,” Kane told reporters. “I’ve never been a part of something like that. It seemed like we were scoring every shift.”

The six-goal period was the first time since 1964 that a U.S. team had scored that many times in a frame. Defensively, they only allowed four shots to a shell-shocked Finnish club, who produced too few good scoring opportunities.

With the commanding lead, the Americans quieted a pro-Canadian crowd who had hoped to see the elimination of the only team that knocked off the hosts in the preliminary round. The game’s tempo also slowed considerably after the quick start, with the U.S. happy to just keep the Finns from getting on the board and secure their appearance into the gold-medal game without incident.

There were only 16 shots combined by the two teams in the middle frame - just seven by the Finns, who were trailing by six goals - and the period was notable only by NHL agitator Jarko Ruutu earning a 10-minute misconduct for attempting to sit on Miller following a save.

With the game well in hand, Miller was lifted with 11:31 left in regulation to give Bruins netminder Tim Thomas his first action of the tournament. Miller, who stopped all 19 Finnish shots he saw, will carry a shutout streak of 114:40 into the gold-medal game, having been last beaten by Sidney Crosby late in the U.S.’s 5-3 win over Canada Sunday.

The last period wasn’t without some incident, as Bobby Ryan was hit in the side by a puck and was holding an ice pack to the side of his head on the bench.

Thomas also allowed the only Finnish goal of the contest, a shot by Antti Miettinen that went into the top corner of the net and put the Finns on the board with 5:14 left in regulation and broke the U.S. shutout string of 117:55 over three contests.

The win also sets up a revenge game on Sunday with Canada beating Slovakia 3-2 to advance to the final.

Two members of the current U.S. team, Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski, were part of the 2002 team that lost the gold-medal game to the Canadians on home ice in Salt Lake City. Of course, the entire Canadian team was just beaten by the U.S. five days ago, and certainly would like to return the favor to the Americans in securing the country’s second gold in eight years with a win over their biggest rivals.

And despite their success, the Americans know they have one more win before they reach the team’s goal of a gold medal.

“We haven’t won anything yet,” Parise told the AP afterwards. “We’re getting better and that’d the most important and rewarding thing.”