U.S. women overpower Finland, ex-Gopher goalie Raty

  • Updated: February 8, 2014 - 9:39 PM
hide

Goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland reaches for the puck as Anna Kilponen of Finland (5) keeps Meghan Duggan of the Untied States (10) and Jocelyne Lamoureux of the Untied States (17) away from the gaoll during the third period of the women's ice hockey game at the Shayba Arena during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By RACHEL BLOUNT

Rachel.blount@startribune.com

SOCHI, RUSSIA—No one appreciates Noora Raty’s skill in the net more than her former Gophers teammates. During her years at the U, the Finnish goaltender backstopped her team to two NCAA titles and won more games than any other woman to play college hockey.

That makes it all the more challenging when the old friends find themselves on opposite sides, as they did Saturday in the opening game of the women’s hockey tournament at the Sochi Winter Games. And it made it all the more satisfying for the United States to earn a 3-1 victory over Finland. Of the five current or former Gophers on the American team, four played with Raty, and they knew how hard it would be to get past one of the best goalies in the game.

Scoring a goal 53 seconds into the game helped. So did a 43-15 advantage in shots on goal. Flashing the speed and power they hope will propel them to a gold medal, the Americans used goals from Hilary Knight, Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter to build a 3-0 lead and start the Olympic tournament in sharp style.

“We wanted to get a lot of shots on Noora, early and often from any angle,’’ said former Gophers defenseman Megan Bozek, who assisted on the Americans’ second goal. “She’s incredible. As the game went on, she made some phenomenal saves out there.

“Hats off to Noora. But we found a way to score early, and that was one of our keys to the game. So good for us.’’

At the Four Nations tournament in November, Raty’s brilliance propelled the Finns to a 3-1 upset of the U.S., their first victory over the Americans in four years. Finland hired a highly regarded strength coach last summer, which Raty said has vastly improved her team’s fitness. It also has brought aboard goaltending coach Andrew Kent, a former goaltender at Augsburg College who coached Raty with the Gophers.

Saturday, she fell victim to an early mistake by a teammate and some unlucky bounces. After Emma Terho lost the puck in the neutral zone, Knight pounced on it and skated in on a breakaway to beat Raty with a wrist shot before a minute had elapsed. Stack batted an airborne puck past Raty early in the second period, and Carpenter’s power-play goal—set up by former Gopher Anne Schleper of St. Cloud—came when she snared a hard bounce off the end boards and shoveled in a backhander.

Raty did stop 10 shots from her former teammates, and she was happy that her team improved as the game went along. The Finns avoided a shutout in the third, when U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter gave up a power-play goal to Susanna Tapani on an assist from Michelle Karvinen. Tapani and Karvinen are teammates at the University of North Dakota.

“Whenever some of my (former) teammates get the puck, I almost start smiling,’’ Raty said. “It’s a lot of fun. I always get excited when I make a save against them. But if we don’t play in the gold-medal game, I really hope the U.S. can win the tournament.’’

The U.S. will face Switzerland on Tuesday, while Finland will play Canada.

  • related content

  • Complete Olympics coverage

    Friday February 7, 2014

  • Goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland falls on the puck to block a who by A...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 6:00 PM
UCF
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Colgate
Northeastern 6:00 PM
Drexel
Wake Forest 6:00 PM
Florida State
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Fordham
Delaware 6:00 PM
James Madison
South Carolina 6:00 PM
LSU
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
Marquette
Binghamton 6:00 PM
UMBC
American Univ 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Penn State
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Richmond
SMU 6:00 PM
South Florida
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hofstra 6:00 PM
William & Mary
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Longwood
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 6:00 PM
Binghamton
Akron 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Memphis 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
East Carolina 6:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
Murray State 6:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Kent State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Eastern Michigan 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Indiana 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Colgate 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Fordham 6:00 PM
Davidson
Duquesne 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
George Mason 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Detroit 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close