SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Goalie Noora Raty was angry, her coach was glum, and the Finnish women's hockey team knows it has work to do to prepare for the Olympic medal round.
And that's after a victory.
Jenni Hiirikoski scored her second goal of the game with 2:22 left in overtime on Wednesday to help the 2010 bronze medalists escape with a 4-3 victory over Switzerland. The Finns earned the No. 3 seed in the Olympic playoffs, but the close game against a team that had yet to score in Sochi left them vowing to do better when they get there.
"It's always important to get the first win," said Raty, a two-time NCAA champion at Minnesota, who had 24 saves. "But I'm not happy with the way we played."
Linda Valimaki made a centering pass to Hiirikoski that was redirected past Florence Schelling to ensure Finland's spot as the top-seeded team in the quarterfinals.
"Our hottest players, they both made two goals and were the leaders we needed," coach Mika Pienniemi said, adding that he felt better about his team after losses to the United States and Canada than he did after narrow win over the Swiss. "We need to be ready to play against the European teams as we were against the North American teams."
The United States and Canada, each with 2-0 records heading into their matchup later Wednesday, have already earned a bye into the semifinals. The North American teams have won every Olympic gold medal and world championship in the history of the women's game.
Finland will play on Saturday against the loser of the round-robin game between Russia and Sweden, with the other facing Switzerland.