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Goalies Put On A Show At Women’s World Championship

Goalies Put On A Show At Women’s World Championship

The IIHF Women’s World Championship concluded on Monday with a day of outstanding goaltending, as the final four netminders kept out all goals in just over140 minutes of play. That’s two full scoreless games and one and a half overtimes in which no goals were allowed between all four goalies who played.

It wasn’t this way for much of the tournament. The two goalies who played in the Bronze Medal Game – Finland’s Meeri Raisanen and Russia’s Nadezhda Morozova – had allowed a combined 31 goals to that point. Emerance Maschmeyer of Canada and Alex Rigsby of the United States had fared somewhat better with 5 total goals allowed. The United States, Canada, and Russia finished in first, second, and third in the tournament, respectively.

Raisanen’s performance was strong enough to quiet some questions about the absence of Finland’s star netminder Noora Raty, who has long been considered one of the top two or three women’s goalies. The reasons for Raty not being included on the Finnish roster are not clear, but Raisanen showed she was a fine replacement, carrying the team back to the medal round and a fourth place finish.

With 162 saves on 176 shots (a .921 save percentage), Raisanen impressed so much that she was named to the tournament All Star Team by the assembled media. Both Raisanen and Raty spent the season playing in Finland’s Mestis league, and faced each other in November in the first men’s pro league game with two female netminders.

But the big story of this year’s World Championships has been the performance of Alex Rigsby and Emerance Maschmeyer. Both the United States and Canada have faced questions about their goaltending futures. Rigsby, 24, and Maschmeyer, 21, may very well represent a changing of the guard for both teams.

And if this tournament is any indication, the future looks bright for both. The two faced off twice, once in the opening game of the preliminary round and then again in the Gold Medal Game. In these two outings, Maschmeyer and Rigsby kept things scoreless for a total of 112:44 minutes.

Maschmeyer’s incredible quickness and aggressiveness provided a sharp contrast to Rigby’s more patient, contained approach, but both were outstanding and incredibly fun to watch. After the Gold Medal Game, the two were named Players of the Game for their respective teams and Maschmeyer took home the Best Goaltender award given by the tournament directorate. With this win, the United States will enter the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 as the number one seed.

About The Author

Clare Austin

Clare Austin is a reluctant "stats nerd" living in Nashville, where she has never worn a cowboy hat or boots.