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

Boston - LP: A. Ranaudo 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: C. Morton 4
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: U. Jimenez 8
Washington - WP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 9
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Surkamp 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 2
Detroit - LP: J. Nathan 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: G. Perkins 4
Milwaukee - WP: B. Kintzler 3 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: K. Siegrist 2
Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren 4 FINAL
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 10
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1
Seattle - WP: C. Smith 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 2
Texas - WP: N. Tepesch 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 3
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 4 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 5
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close