Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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On Golden Ponds: Selanne's Olympic Career Not Over Yet

By Jim Iovino
|  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 1:57 PM EDT
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Selanne's Olympic Career Not Over Yet

Getty Images

Teemu Selanne #8 of Finland scores a first-period goal against Semyon Varlamov #1 of Russia during the Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff on Day 12 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Teemu Selanne just couldn't get the thought out of his mind Wednesday.

If Selanne and his Finland teammates couldn't find a way to defeat the favorited Russians on their home ice, it would be the 43-year-old winger's final game representing his country in the Olympics.

But as luck would have it, not only did Finland shock the Russians in a 3-1 win, but Selanne scored the game-winning goal.

"The whole day I was thinking about it. It might be my last one," the ageless one told NBC's Pierre McGuire immediately after the game while wearing a giant smile. "But I told Kimmo Timonen, 'It's not over yet, Kimmo!' It's a great feeling."

When Selanne scored a goal on Friday against Norway, he set a record for being the oldest player to score in Olympic history. On Wednesday he extended that record another five days in classic Selanne style. As he skated into the slot he quickly moved a pass from his skates to his stick and slipped a sneaky shot between Semyon Varlomov's legs for a 2-1 lead the Finns wouldn't relinquish.

For Selanne, who has pondered retirement several times in his long career, these Sochi Games have provided him with one final hurrah. It's been a chance he hasn't taken for granted.

"This national team has been so important to me," Selanne told McGuire. "I'm thankful that I can play for our country. It's fun, especially with a tough (NHL) season and not having so much ice time in Anaheim. To come here and play on the first line, there's nothing better."
 

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