SOCHI, Russia - The hope for long-term parity in women's hockey is clearly strengthened by what has been happening in the goal crease.
"Across the world, goalie is one of the strongest positions, which is exciting," said U.S. goalie Molly Schaus, "because every team has a chance."
The Americans needed 40 shots to defeat world-class Finnish goalie Noora Raty 3-1 on Saturday. On Monday (5 a.m. ET), their mission is to conquer big Swiss netminder Florence Schelling, who made 64 saves in a 5-0 loss to Canada.
U.S. coach Katey Stone calls Schelling, 24, a "tremendous goaltender." She is the only woman ever to play in the Swiss men's third-highest league.
"And all of these teams in the tournament have learned to play in front of their goaltenders," Stone said.
Schelling believes the Swiss team has improved, evidenced by its play in the third period against Canada when Switzerland generated scoring chances and held Canada scoreless.
"I think we have done an incredible job in that third period. Usually we break down in the third period, usually we can't keep up with them," Schelling said. "But (against Canada) it wasn't the case - we pushed harder in the third period."
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