In second year with Minnesota, Raty is All-American for second time

In her young career, Noora Raty has already set several Minnesota school records, won two All-America awards and started on the Finnish Olympic team. She still has two years remaining with the Gophers, who always have a chance to win with her in net.

Dane Mizutani

Sophomore goaltender Noora Räty added another award this week to an already impressive résumé.

Räty was named a Reebok Second Team All-American, her second All-America honor in as many years with the Minnesota womenâÄôs hockey team.

âÄúI was actually in Mexico [when I found out], and it was a pretty good feeling,âÄù Räty said. âÄúItâÄôs a great honor, and IâÄôm proud that I got it.âÄù

She was named first team All-America after an impressive freshman season, and had continued success in her second year with the Gophers. Räty played in 35 games this season, boasting an impressive 1.77 goals-against average and a save percentage of .941.

Coming off the excellent freshman campaign, head coach Brad Frost said Räty responded well in her sophomore season to the understandably high expectations.

âÄúShe had such a great freshman year last year that I think a lot of people wondered if she would be able to back that up and have another great year this year,âÄù Frost said. âÄúI think she absolutely did and is very deserving of the All-American honors.âÄù

Räty boosted her play in the WCHA playoffs, having possibly her best performance of the year in the championship game against rival Wisconsin, one that is easily overlooked because Minnesota lost the game in overtime. Nevertheless, the Espoo, Finland, native finished the game with an astounding 51 saves on 56 shots on goal. She was named to the WCHA All-Tournament team.

Räty said she has seen a rapid development in her game from just a year ago.

âÄúThere is already a huge difference from where I started as a freshman and where I am now,âÄù Räty said.

This progression is evidenced by RätyâÄôs rewriting of the GophersâÄô record books this season. Räty was 25-8-2 between the pipes, breaking a school record for wins in a season. She also set a school record with nine shutouts, which was tied for the nationâÄôs best, and broke her own school record by posting 964 saves this season.

Those records aside, Räty is still not satisfied.

âÄúI want to be even better next year,âÄù Räty added. âÄúI think if I play like IâÄôve been playing these past two years IâÄôm going to be even better next year.âÄù

In her freshman season with the Gophers, Räty also started for FinlandâÄôs national team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Frost said that stint definitely took a toll on his goaltenderâÄôs body.

âÄúIt was nice to have her rested [this season] and not coming back from the Olympics because I know that took a lot out of her last year,âÄù Frost said.

Though it may have been exhausting for her last season, Räty said her time with the Finland national team was irreplaceable.

âÄúIt gave me so much experience,âÄù Räty said. âÄúI was well prepared before I came [to Minnesota] so I think thatâÄôs one of the main reasons IâÄôve had success here.âÄù

This seasonâÄôs repeat as an All-American, as well as RätyâÄôs experience on the world stage has led to even higher expectations for next season.

However, Frost said he has confidence his goalie will live up to the expectations.

âÄúWe expect her to continue to be one of the best goalies in the world, not just in the country,âÄù Frost said. âÄúWe should have a really good team in front of her so we would just anticipate for her to continue to improve and give us another chance to have a great season.âÄù