Noora Raty Inspired Against Men by Minion Mask
Noora Raty found unlikely inspiration for her bid to become the first female goalie to play professional hockey against the men in her native Finland. Raty, who won two NCAA championships at the University of Minnesota and played in two Olympics, turned to the Minions.
Raty asked Finnish painter Teemu Sipilä to include the loveable yellow characters from the “Despicable Me” movies on her new mask for Kiekko-Vantaa in Finland’s second division.
“I chose Minions because they just make people happy. They might be clumsy and little bit dumb, but I like how they don’t take the life too seriously, always make the best out of every situation and have a smile on their face,” Raty told InGoal Magazine in an email from Finland. “Obviously this season is a big challenge for me and many people are doubting whether of not I can keep up with men, so those Minions are a good reminder for me to just have fun, enjoy the moment and have a smile on my face no matter what happens.”
Fortunately for Sipilä, who also painted Raty’s great Lion-themed mask for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, the overall-clad Minions matched the new, slightly altered colour scheme for Kiekko-Vantaa.
Raty actually made her debut against the men while on loan to Bewe TuusKi in the third division, pitching a shutout through 49 minutes en route to a 5-1 win. She has yet to play for the Kiekko-Vantaa club she signed with, but given the latin quote on the backplate of her new mask is also tattooed on her body, it’s probably not wise to bet against Raty getting to, and succeeding at, the next level of Finnish men’s hockey.
“The latin quote on the back is for ‘I shall either find a way or make one’ and the phrase has been attributed to Hannibal,” Raty said. “It’s always been one of my life mottos: either I’ll find my way to the top or I’ll make my way to the top and no-one can stop me.”
Sipilä, who is relatively new to mask painting, doesn’t have a website, but you can see more of his work, including a stunning black-and-white tribute to Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood, and contact him through both Twitter and Instagram. With masks like this, he’ll be busy soon: