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Finland 11, Japan 1

Associated Press
Monday, February 9, 1998; 12:53 a.m. EST


NAGANO, Japan — No home ice advantage for Japan's women's hockey team at the Olympics.

Even though they scored their first goal ever in intrnational competition, the Japanese were again overmatched, losing 11-1 to Finland, which got three goals from Kirsi Haenninen.

Japan was markedly more aggressive than in Sunday's 13-0 loss to Canada or the 10-0 exhibition defeat to the United States last week, collecting 40 minutes in penalties overall to Finland's 16.

Two of Haenninen's goals came on power plays in the second period, when Japan earned 30 minutes of penalties — including two 10-minute misconducts for checking from behind.

Her third goal made it 9-1 at 10:42 of the third as Finland answered Japan's lone goal by scoring three times in 2½ minutes.

It got eight shots on goal, its best performance by far in international competition. But as a rule, the players foiled their own offensive rushes by failing to follow up their teammates, going offsides or collecting penalties.

Defenseman Akiko Hatanaka fired a slap shot from the blue line with one second remaining in a power play to earn the team's goal at 8:28 of the third, making the score 6-1.

Forward Riikka Nieminen scored twice for Finland. Sanna Lankosaari, Katja Riipi, Tiia Reima, Karoliina Rantamaeki, Sari Krooks and Katja Lehto got a goal each.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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