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Knight scores early, leads U.S. past Finland in women's hockey

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SOCHI, Russia -

Hilary Knight scored 53 seconds into the opener of the Olympic women's hockey tournament Saturday, and Jesse Vetter needed only 14 saves to lead the United States to a 3-1 victory over Finland.
    
Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans, who avoided a repeat of Finland's upset at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November. Finnish goalie Noora Raty made 58 saves in that one, but the three-time Olympian could stop just 40 of 43 U.S. shots at the Shayba Ice Arena.
    
Susanna Tapani scored a power play goal for Finland with 4:38 to play in the game to make it 3-1.
    
Canada was scheduled to play Switzerland later Saturday in the other opener for Group A, which includes all of the medal favorites. The United States plays Switzerland on Monday, and a victory then would put the Americans in the semifinals.
    
A crowd of more than 4,000 hadn't even settled into its seats at the puck-shaped Olympic venue when Raty, a two-time NCAA champion who went 41-0 at Minnesota in her senior year, was beaten on the first shot.
    
After a giveaway at the blue line, Knight went in all alone and scored over the goalie's right shoulder. But Raty wouldn't let the game turn into a blowout, shutting down the Americans for the next 27 minutes before Stack deflected a pass from Megan Bozek - Raty's college roommate - to make it 2-0.
    
With 4:01 left in the second period, the Americans got another good bounce when Carpenter, the daughter of NHL star Bobby Carpenter, backhanded the puck into the crease. It deflected off a defender and behind Raty, into the net to make it 3-0.

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