action:article | category:SPORTS26 | adString:SPORTS26 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Olympics

February 08. 2014 8:21PM

Knight lifts U.S. women to opening hockey win


Hilary Knight of the U.S. celebrates her goal against Finland with teammate Amanda Kessel during their women's preliminary round hockey game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. (REUTERS/Grigory Dukor)

SOCHI, Russia - It took less than a minute for Hilary Knight to announce her presence in Sochi.

The veteran forward who formerly lived in Hanover, N.H., scored 53 seconds into Team USA's inaugural 2014 Olympics hockey game, helping teammates shake off pre-tourney jitters and setting a tone of dominance that players hope to maintain through the gold-medal game.

"It's a nice piece of history to have for myself," Knight said.

Knight also had an assist for teammate Alex Carpenter and led the team in shots on goal as USA beat Finland 3-1.

She came out early, snagging a loose puck and beating a path toward the Finland net.

"Our eyes lit up," recalled forward Kelli Stack. "She just flared it low-blocker. I think the puck was in the net before Noora (Raty, the Finland goalie) even moved."

The goal wasn't unexpected from Knight, a veteran forward for the U.S. women's hockey team who played four years ago in Vancouver. In all, Knight had eight shots on goal, more than any other player.

"She had an unbelievable year, and I think she's going to have a great tournament," said USA goalie Jessie Vetter.

It was Knight's first shot that set the tone, and it came against one of the world's top goalies. "It was a nightmare start for me and my team, but we got over it real quick," said Raty, of Finland. Her coach, Mika Pieniniemi, called the goal "unlucky."

"She has probably the best shot in women's hockey. She shoots like a guy," Stack said. "It's unbelievable to have someone on the team who can pretty much score at will for us."

USA Coach Katey Stone, who played at the University of New Hampshire, said the goal helped "take the edge off the anxiety" for the team. The United States lost to Finland 3-1 in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November.

Finland's Mira Jalosuo wants a rematch in the semifinals. "I feel confident we can beat them," she said.


 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

New Hampshire Motor Speedway announces Maine casino as sponsor

Small, local golf ball companies look for big splash

Fuld back in bigs, claimed by Minnesota Twins

Twin State Speedway trying revival with new management

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!