Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 50° Cloudy
Sports

United States, Canada lead way in women’s hockey

Jimmy Golen Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia – A new format was supposed to make the Olympic women’s hockey tournament more competitive after Vancouver, when then-IOC president Jacques Rogge hinted that the sport could be kicked out of the Winter Games.

One day into the Sochi Games and the winners look the same.

The United States and Canada won their openers at the Shayba Arena on Saturday despite changes that were supposed to bring some of the marquee matchups into the round-robin. The Americans beat Finland 3-1 and Canada beat Switzerland 5-0, showing that the North American dominance of the sport is still supreme.

The United States faced Finland, the 2010 bronze medalist, in the Sochi opener instead of China, which it beat 12-1 to start the Vancouver Games. Finnish goalie Noora Raty, a two-time NCAA champion, gave up Hilary Knight’s goal 53 seconds into the game but stopped 40 shots to keep it close from there.

Jesse Vetter stopped 14 shots for the Americans. Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans, each getting a fortunate bounce on what Finnish coach Mika Pieniniemi called “an ‘oops’ goal.”

The U.S. players had said they would need ugly goals to beat Raty, who stopped 58 American shots in November in an upset victory in Lake Placid, N.Y., and coach Katey Stone made no apologies for how they scored.

“We talk a lot about how there are no snapshots on the scorecard,” Stone said. “If it’s an ugly one, it’s an ugly one. And sometimes against a fantastic goaltender that’s how you have to get it done.”

All-time Olympic leading scorer Hayley Wickenheiser added to her record with her 17th career Winter Games goal to lead Canada in the late game. Wickenheiser has participated in every Olympics since women’s hockey was made an official sport in 1998, and she has scored in every one.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.