WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Team USA edges Finland in Olympic opener

Coyne, a veteran ahead, struck the winner with Finland’s Linda Valimaki off for tripping simply previous the midway level of the second interval, one-timing a feed from Hilary Knight previous goaltender Noora Raty.

For the People the difficulty with scoring that has beset them since late final yr continued towards a scrappy Finnish staff. Of their final 4 pre-Olympic worldwide friendlies, all towards arch-rival Canada, the People scored simply three objectives, and head coach Robb Stauber knew that was a problem coming into the event.

“You want to come out and rating an entire bunch extra, however as Finland does they play very robust,” Stauber stated. “We anticipated it and weren’t stunned by it in any respect.”

On Sunday, the U.S. outshot Finland forty two-24 however related on simply two aside from an empty netter by Dani Cameranesi with simply thirteen seconds remaining within the recreation and Raty pulled for an additional attacker.

The Finns, who got here into the sport zero-6 towards the U.S. in Olympic play, surprised the People by taking a 1-zero lead with time almost expired within the first interval. Finland ahead Petra Nieminen drove into the left nook within the U.S. zone and fed Venla Hovi within the slot, and she or he lifted the puck previous American goaltender Maddie Rooney with simply six seconds left.

“We had a reasonably good first interval we simply had a psychological lapse on the play, we have been in actual good place, we simply did not decide up probably the most harmful participant,” Stauber stated.

“However it’s nice to have the ability to make a mistake like that and nonetheless get a win as a result of on any given night time a mistake like that may harm you and tonight it did not so it convey a degree of consciousness.”

Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it about halfway via the second interval. She dug the puck out of a scrum within the nook to the correct of the Finnish internet and stickhandled throughout the crease. Goaltender Raty stopped her first backhander however Lamoureux-Morando put the rebound previous her.

“All in all I’m very grateful for a tough-fought first recreation,” Stauber stated. “It should not be straightforward and it was not straightforward.”

Subsequent up for the People are the Olympic Athletes of Russia, adopted by their nemesis—Group Canada.

The ladies’s recreation was first launched on the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. America topped Canada to win that preliminary gold medal, however their northern neighbors have triumphed in every since.

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