OTTAWA - The end result was as predicted, but it didn’t come without a fright.
Despite being outshot 43-11, the Finns stood up to the heavily favoured Team USA before three goals in the third period — and a 3-0 finale — knocked them out of the semi-finals at the Women’s World Hockey Championship.
The first goal of the game came with just six minutes left in the third, courtesy of Hilary Knight. Monique Lamoureux added some insurance just minutes later to give the Americans a cushion before Brianna Decker added an empty-netter.
“It was huge (to get the goal),” said Lamoureux. “It’s really easy to get frustrated in a game like that when you have so many chances, but we kept at it.”
On the other side of the ice, Finnish goaltender Noora Raty had an outstanding game, as she held the Americans scoreless through two periods while facing 34 shots.
Normally the only time the crowd gets going at Scotiabank Place is for the Senators or Team Canada. But during every offensive chance and great save — and there were many by Raty — the crowd erupted in cheers as though the game was in a Helsinki rink.
The atmosphere wasn’t lost on the Finnish goalie.
“It was awesome,” said Raty, who received a congratulatory handshake from American head coach Katey Stone during her media scrum. “It was nice. Most people were cheering for us. Every time we got the puck and pressured the zone, the crowd got excited.”
Discipline was an issue for both teams throughout the game, and is something Lamoureux said the Americans need to work on before the gold medal match against Canada.
“We need to not take the unnecessary penalties. We can take the ones that will eliminate a scoring chance, but the ones in our offensive zone we really can’t take,” she said.