U.S. tops Finland to open women's hockey tournament

Sochi, Russia ( - The United States opened women's hockey action at the 2014 Olympics with a 3-1 victory over Finland on Saturday.

Hilary Knight scored 53 seconds into the contest for the Americans, who also received goals from Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter. Knight added an assist and Jessie Vetter made 14 saves for the U.S., which outshot Finland 43-15.

Susanna Tapani scored late in the third period on a power play for Finland to avoid the shutout, while Noora Raty stopped 40 shots in defeat.

The Finns turned the puck over at center ice in the first minute of the contest, leading to Knight's breakaway goal.

Raty kept Finland in the contest with 14 saves in the opening period, while her teammates mustered just three shots. The Americans continued to pepper the net in the second period with 18 shots and two found the net.

Stack knocked a rebound out of midair into the net at the 7:42 mark of the second and Carpenter backhanded home a rebound on a power play with 4:01 remaining in the period to make it 3-0.

Finland finally beat Vetter with 4:38 to play in the contest when Tapani converted a cross-ice feed from Michelle Karvinen.