Former U goalie Raty hints at retirement; seeks spot on men's pro team

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 16, 2014 - 12:04 AM
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U.S. forward Hilary Knight (21) scores a goal against Finland goalkeeper Noora Raty (41) during the first period in a women's hockey game at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, February 8, 2014.

Photo: Brian Cassella, Mct - Mct

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Social media has been an event itself during these Olympics. From pictures of hotel room disasters to athletes’ selfies with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Twitter timeline feeds are filled with scenes from Sochi.

Finnish women’s hockey goaltender and former Gophers star Noora Raty took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify comments she made about her future. The remarks raised more than a few emoticon eyebrows.

“Retirement slipped out of my mouth today so here’s more clarification from me so people can stop asking #thankyou,” she tweeted to her 4,700 followers from her personal account, @Nooraty41, after she gave up four third-period goals in Finland’s 4-2 quarterfinal loss to Sweden.

Attached was a winding five-paragraph statement.

“I will hang up my skates for good if I can’t play professional hockey IN A COMPETITIVE LEAGUE next season … I would love to take on the challenge and try playing with men since I can’t play college hockey anymore and there’s no professional league for females in the North America,” she wrote. “But I guess the time will show if some men’s pro team is willing to give me a chance.”

The statement addressed the difficulties of working full-time to pay bills while also training to be an Olympic athlete. Raty said she will skip the latter if she needs a break.

“The majority of female players have the same problem,” she wrote.

Raty, 24, has been a world-class goaltender for nearly a decade. Her proposed path would not be unprecedented; Canadian women’s goaltender Manon Rheaume signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992.

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