Finland’s Olympic women’s hockey goalie is following the path of her Canadian counterpart.
Noora Raty, considered one of the best women’s hockey players in Sochi, has signed a one-year contract with Finnish men’s club Kiekko Vantaa, YLE reported Monday.
News of Raty’s signing comes one week after Shannon Szabados, who backstopped Canada to Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, inked a deal with a men’s team in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Raty, 24, was a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota, leading the Golden Gophers to NCAA national championships in 2012 and 2013. She announced after the Olympics that she would be retiring from hockey if she was unable to find a competitive league to play in.
The goaltender said Monday that she envisions herself as a backup for Kiekko Vantaa, which plays in Finland’s second-highest division, the Mentis League.
”Even though the contract has been signed, that doesn’t guarantee anything,” Raty told YLE. “The challenge will be big. Now I need to work hard and change words into deeds.”
Five-time Canadian Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser is the only female to ever play a game in the Mentis League.
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