U.S. women's hockey team off to good start with 3-1 win over Finland

U.S. women's hockey team off to good start with 3-1 win over Finland
Americans Kelli Stack (16) and Hilary Knight celebrate after a goal by Stack against Finland in a preliminary round game on Saturday. (Alexander Nemenov / AFP / Getty Images)

SOCHI, Russia -- The last time the United States' women's hockey team took the ice for a game in the Olympics, it left it following a heartbreaking loss in a bid for a gold medal.

Team USA is determined to avenge that disappointment during the 2014 Winter Games and got off on the right foot Saturday when they defeated Finland, 3-1, in the opening game of the eight-team tournament at Shayba Arena in Sochi.

Hilary Knight had a goal and an assist while Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the U.S., which peppered the top women's goaltender in the world, Noora Raty, with 43 shots.

Finland, which is a contender for a medal because of Raty, mustered only 15 shots on U.S. netminder Jessie Vetter. Susanna Tapani had Finland's goal while on the power play late in the third period.

Knight and the U.S. wasted little time as the forward scored off a breakaway on the first shot of the game with 53 seconds elapsed. Team USA controlled play the rest of the way and only a fine effort from Raty kept things close.

The U.S. exacted some revenge on Raty and Finland for a 3-1 loss in the Four Nations tournament in November during which Raty stopped 58 shots. She was terrific again Saturday but her teammates couldn't provide any offensive support against a dominant U.S. squad that again appears poised for a run to the gold-medal game.



Twitter @ChrisKuc