Idaho's Knight has goal, assist in US Olympic hockey win

Idaho's Knight has goal, assist in US Olympic hockey win

Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Sochi, RUSSIA; USA forward Hilary Knight (21) celebrates after scoring a goal during the women's ice hockey preliminary round game in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games against Finland at Shayba Arena.

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by JIMMY GOLEN / AP Sports Writer and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 5:33 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 8 at 9:48 AM

SOCHI, Russia  -- Hilary Knight of Sun Valley, Idaho, scored 53 seconds into the opener of the Olympic women's hockey tournament Saturday, and Jesse Vetter needed only 14 saves to lead the United States to a 3-1 victory over Finland.

Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans, who avoided a repeat of Finland's upset at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November. Finnish goalie Noora Raty made 58 saves in that one, but the three-time Olympian could stop just 40 of 43 U.S. shots at the Shayba Ice Arena.

Susanna Tapani scored a power play goal for Finland with 4:38 to play in the game to make it 3-1.

Watch: Highlights of USA vs. Finland

More Olympics coverage at the KING 5 Olympic Zone

Canada was scheduled to play Switzerland later Saturday in the other opener for Group A, which includes all of the medal favorites. The United States plays Switzerland on Monday, and a victory then would put the Americans in the semifinals.

A crowd of more than 4,000 hadn't even settled into its seats at the puck-shaped Olympic venue when Raty, a two-time NCAA champion who went 41-0 at Minnesota in her senior year, was beaten on the first shot.

After a giveaway at the blue line, Knight went in all alone and scored over the goalie's right shoulder. But Raty wouldn't let the game turn into a blowout, shutting down the Americans for the next 27 minutes before Stack deflected a pass from Megan Bozek -- Raty's college roommate -- to make it 2-0.

With 4:01 left in the second period, the Americans got another good bounce when Carpenter, the daughter of NHL star Bobby Carpenter, backhanded the puck into the crease. It deflected off a defender and behind Raty, into the net to make it 3-0.

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