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U.S. women’s hockey team overcomes Raty, overwhelms Finland

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Women

Hilary Knight of the Untied States celebrates her goal as Goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland looks on during the women’s ice hockey game at the Shayba Arena during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Petr David Josek

Once again, the U.S. women’s hockey team dominated Finland yet struggled to score against Noora Raty. The difference is that America won this time around, opening up the women’s hockey tournament with an 3-1 win against the Finns.

Hilary Knight scored on the first shot of the game after a lapse by the Finns, yet Raty was fantastic for much of the game, helping to maintain a competitive contest despite a heavy disparity in play. America nearly tripled Finland’s shots on goal in the contest (43-15).

WATCH: Highlights from Team USA win

Back in November, Raty stopped an impressive 58 out of 59 shots to guide Finland to a 3-1 upset at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid.

MORE: Finland’s Noora Raty sets sights on gold (and possibly Olympic hockey stardom)

Knight scored a goal and an assist while Alex Carpenter and Kelli Stack were the other American goal scorers. Stack’s ended up being the game-winner.

MORE: Hilary Knight turns to meditation

The U.S. didn’t blow Finland out, but they outplayed them in a glaring way, showing little signs of losing the impressive momentum they brought into Sochi. America’s big rival Canada begins its schedule by facing Switzerland at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins