Finland, Russia play for women's hockey 5th place

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm •  Published: February 17, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Finland goalie Noora Raty has one more game in her Olympic career, then she will say goodbye to women's hockey's biggest event.

Raty was 16 when she played for Finland at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, and she led the Finns to a bronze medal in Vancouver four years later. She went on to win back-to-back NCAA championships at the University of Minnesota, going 41-0-0 last season while setting the career and single-season record for shutouts.

This year, Finland entered the Sochi Games as favorite to finish third behind the two North American powers but lost in the quarterfinals to archrival Sweden. Raty said in a letter posted to Twitter this week that she will retire after the Olympics, and for Finland that comes with the fifth-place game against Russia on Tuesday.

"Before the season started, I made a decision that my national team career will end here in Sochi," she wrote, explaining that she had planned to wait until after the tournament to make the announcement but let it slip after the disappointing loss to Sweden eliminated Finland from medal contention.

"I don't feel that women's hockey will grow or get any better in the future if the USA or Canada don't get a professional league started soon. That is the next critical step that our sport needs to take or our sport will never be respected like it should be."

Raty said she would try to get a job with a men's professional league, where players are paid enough that they don't need outside jobs. The Russian women's pro league is not competitive, she said, and the one in North America pays expenses but not salaries.

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