The US Women’s National Team may have got the win and advanced to the 2013 Women’s World Championship Gold Medal Game, but senior Noora Raty stole the show by making incredible save after incredible save and giving Finland a chance late in the game. The Americans slipped two pucks by the Finnish goaltender late in the third period and then added another empty netter to win, 3-0.
It was evident early on that Räty was focused a she made 10 saves in the first period to keep the high-powered USA offense scoreless.
Despite going down two skaters twice early in the second period, Räty and the Finns stayed strong and denied everything the Americans threw at them, which was an abundance of shots. Team USA added 24 more shots in the second period, while Finland was held to just three.
One shot for the Finns that doesn’t show up on the score sheet is one by North Dakota’s Michelle Karvinen, who nearly put the team up 1-0 midway through the second as she clanked the crossbar.
The third period was much more even than the other two periods as USA only outshot the Finn, 9-3.
Räty was named the Finnish Player of the Game for making 40 saves in the contest and holding the Americans scoreless through 50-plus minutes. When she received the award, the 4,000-plus fans in attendance gave the goaltender a standing ovation.
At 13:55 in the third period, the USWNT got on the board as Hilary Knight pounded in a rebound past Räty. Knight was assisted by Gophers Amanda Kessel and Gigi Marvin. Kessel leads the tournament in assists with six.
USA added another with 4:38 remaining as Finland had a defensive miscue on a USA power play, and UND’s Monique Lamoureux backhanded a shot over Räty’s glove.
The final goal was scored with 17 seconds remaining as Wisconsin’s Brianna Decker wristed in an empty netter.
USA advances to play the winner of the Russia-Canada game in the Gold Medal Game at 6:30 p.m. CT. Finland will play in the Bronze Medal Game at 2:30 p.m. CT against the loser of that contest.