PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.) made 23 saves and Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.), Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) and Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Grand Forks, N.D.) each scored as the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team defeated Finland, 3-1, in its opening game of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre.
“I am very thankful for a hard-fought game” said U.S. Women’s Olympic Team head coach Robb Stauber. “It was tough, and it should be tough to win here. It was a great game for us and now we get to move forward to the next one.”
The U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team (1-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will continue preliminary round action Tuesday (Feb. 13) when it takes on Olympic Athletes From Russia. Puck drop is set for 9:10 p.m. local/7:10 a.m. ET at the Kwandong Hockey Centre and the game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and streamed on NBCOlympics.com.
The U.S. was awarded a man advantage just under two minutes into the game, but was unable to convert after applying heavy pressure in the Finnish zone throughout the power play. Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) nearly opened the scoring at 10:39 when she fired a shot from the slot off an Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) pass, but could not beat Finnish goaltender Noora Raty.
Team USA held puck possession for the majority of the period until Venla Hovi of Finland found the back of the net on a one-timer with 6 seconds left, putting the U.S. in a one-goal deficit after 20 minutes.
The middle stanza saw the U.S. take control of the game. Just over 6 minutes into the frame, Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) almost capitalized on a rebound from a Lamoureux-Morando shot, but her scoring chance was swallowed by Raty.
The U.S. was finally rewarded at the 11:02 mark when Lamoureux-Morando evened the score. With the puck stuck in a player scramble in the corner, Lamoureux-Morando was able to gather it and cut toward the net before finishing her own rebound to tie the game, 1-1.
Less than 2:30 later, Coyne connected to give Team USA a 2-1 advantage. Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) sent a pass from the left hash to Coyne on the right side, who fired a one-timer past Raty for a one-goal lead it was able to carry into the second intermission.
In the final stanza, both teams traded scoring opportunities over the first 10 minutes of play, but neither were able to convert. With 5:47 remaining in the game, Coyne went on a partial breakaway but saw her five-hole attempt stopped short by Raty.
Rooney stood tall in the final five minutes of the game, stopping multiple shots on a U.S. penalty kill to help maintain the U.S. lead. With 13 seconds to play, Cameranesi was able to bang home an empty-netter to secure the win at 3-1.
Rooney made 23 saves in her Olympic debut.