Friday, 22 February, 2019

USA women edge Finland in Olympic opener

USA women edge Finland in Olympic opener USA women edge Finland in Olympic opener
Kristopher Love | 16 February, 2018, 02:45

They also improved to 7-0 against Finland in the Olympics, though the world's third-ranked team made the defending world champions work hard in a chippy game. At least for one period Sunday, Finland seemed to have other plans.

The Finns, who came into the game 0-6 against the Olympic play, stunned the Americans by taking a 1-0 lead with time almost expired in the first period. In their last four pre-Olympic worldwide friendlies, all against arch-rival Canada, the Americans scored just three goals, and head coach Robb Stauber knew that was an issue coming into the tournament.

The U.S. came into the game with a scoring problem.

"We can score pretty goals, but we're not afraid to get in the mix of it and get some ugly ones if we need to", Lamoureux-Morando said afterward. "Finland's really gotten better over the last couple years, and they gave us one heck of a game".

Gone are the three Canadians with the most games played for the national team in Hayley Wickenheiser, Jayna Hefford and Caroline Ouellette, as well as Gillian Epps and Catherine Ward.

Venla Hovi scored on a wrist shot from the slot with 5.8 seconds left in the first period, giving the Finns the lead and a reason to celebrate going into intermission.

On Sunday, the USA outshot Finland 42-24 but connected on just two apart from an empty netter by Dani Cameranesi with just 13 seconds remaining in the game and Raty pulled for an extra attacker.

Team USA is made up of a combination of AHL players, college players and guys from European leagues. But I think after that we regrouped. "Who's going to win the gold medal, I don't know so I think it creates a little bit of excitement, but it's certainly going to be an exciting Olympics because there are so many unknowns", said Johnson. The fact that one of the Americans' three goals came from a rebound, and another an empty-netter, is a testament to the talent of Raty. Goaltender Noora Räty did very well keeping them in the game, stopping all but two of the shots she saw.

Grand Forks native Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored Team USA's first goal of the Olympics - assisted by her twin sister Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson - and the Americans managed to hold off Finland 3-1 early Sunday morning in Pyeongchang, South Korea. As for these Pyeongchang games, the Americans now have a good chance to secure a bye for the quarterfinals and an automatic spot in the semifinals.