Finland was finally able to give its star goalie Noora Raty some offensive support at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
After scoring just one goal in their first two games of the tournament against Canada and the United States, Finland had a bit of an offensive explosion on Wednesday in a 4-3 overtime win against Switzerland to move on to the quarterfinal of the women's hockey tournament.
On Saturday, Finland will play the loser of Thursday's Russia-Sweden.
Defenseman and team captain Jenni Hiirikoski was the star of the game for Finland, consistently jumping into the play and making her presence felt in the offensive zone. She had hand in three of Finland's four goals. This included two goals of her own, including the game-winner in overtime on a nice redirection as she drove to the net and beat Swiss goalie Florence Schelling.
Michelle Karvinen also factored into three of Finland's goals, scoring a shorthanded goal in the first period and then adding a power play goal late in the second period.
Karvinen also assisted on Hiirikoski's first period goal that opened the scoring in the game.
Karvinen's power-play goal came on the tail end of a five-minute power play after Switzerland's Evelina Raselli was assessed a match penalty for kicking Annilina Rajahuhta following a skirmish in front of the net. After Swiss goalie Schelling covered the puck, Rajahuhta skated in and knocked Raselli to the ice. As Raselli was down she appeared to kick Rajahuhta in the stomach.
That penalty, along with the match penalty, carries an automatic one-game suspension into the next round.
After stopping 79 of the 85 shots she faced in the first two games of the tournament, Raty wasn't asked to face anywhere near as much rubber on Wednesday. That said, Raty seemed to struggled a lot more than she did against Canada and the United States, allowing three goals on 27 Swiss shots, including a game-tying goal with just three minutes to play. While the volume of shots may not have been what it was over the first two games, she still seemed to face quite a few quality scoring chances, including several two-on-one rushes and several shots on the power play.
For the tournament Raty has stopped 103 of the 112 shots she has faced.