Disputed call helps lift U.S. to fifth straight women’s world hockey title

ESPOO, Finland — Alex Rigsby stopped four of five shots in a shootout and the United States beat Finland 2-1 on Sunday night for its fifth consecutive gold medal at the women’s world championship.

The U.S. won after a questionable goaltender interference review wiped out what would have been a historic overtime goal for the Finns.

Finland celebrated on home ice after Petra Nieminen scored on a rebound 11:33 into overtime, but officials spent more than 10 minutes reviewing the play before disallowing the goal for goalie interference and forcing players to pick up their equipment and resume the game. Fans who chanted “Suomi!” and waved blue and white flags throughout the game rained boos down on the Americans when they were given their medals.

This was already a first for Finland, which pulled a stunning upset of Canada in the semifinals Saturday behind 43 saves from former Gophers goalie Noora Raty. The U.S. and Canada had met in each of the previous 28 world championship finals dating to the first in 1990.

“This is the best Finnish team we’ve ever seen,” said Rigsby, who made 26 saves before the shootout started and then denied Michelle Karvinen, Ronja Savolainen, Nieminen and Susanna Tapani to extend the Americans’ gold-medal streak that dates to 2015.

Former Gopher Amanda Kessel and Annie Pankowski scored in the shootout against Raty, who made 50 saves in regulation and overtime.


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