Brianna Decker, left, of the United States and Jenni Hiirikoski of Finland vie for the puck during the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

US beats Finland in shootout for gold after OT controversy

April 14, 2019 - 3:37 pm

ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Alex Rigsby stopped four of five shots in the shootout and the United States beat Finland 2-1 to win its fifth consecutive gold medal at the women's world championship Sunday after a questionable goaltender interference review wiped what would have been an overtime goal for the Finns off the board.

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. The U.S. killed off two Finland power plays to get to a shootout.

Amanda Kessel and Annie Pankowski scored in the shootout against Finland's Noora Raty, the best goaltender in the world who made 50 saves in regulation and overtime. Pankowski scored the Americans' only goal in regulation in the second period, and Susanna Tapani answered 1:43 later for Finland.

Raty, playing in her hometown, made 43 saves Saturday when Finland pulled a stunning upset of Canada. The U.S. and Canada had met in each of the previous 28 world championship finals dating to the first in 1990. Rigsby said this was the best Finnish team she had ever seen.

Canada routed Russia 7-0 in the bronze-medal game earlier Sunday.

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