News |

Men’s hockey team signs female goalie

Noora Räty, goaltender for the Finnish women’s national team, has signed a contract to play for a men’s team next season.  She will play for Kiekko Vantaa in the second tier of Finnish ice hockey, the Mestis league.

Noora Räty
Noora Räty Image: Tomi Hänninen

Finland’s number one female hockey player, 24-year-old Noora Räty, is to play in the men’s Mestis league next season. Räty had announced her retirement from hockey after the winter Olympics, blaming the difficulty women players face in earning a proper living.

Now she will play for Kiekko Vantaa in the 2014-2015 season, after a signing a one-year deal with the Mestis club. She follows in the footsteps of Hayley Wickenheiser, who played ten games in Mestis for Kirkkonummi Salama in the 2003-04 season.

Räty won two NCAA championships with Minnesota during her time in the US college system, but following graduation she has struggled to patch together an income from coaching.

After the Olympics she announced on Twitter that she was unable to commit to maintaining her high standards, and could not continue to function as an elite athlete while working a day job.

She has been an outspoken critic of the way Finland’s ice hockey association treats women players, demanding improved facilities and training conditions. She says that she will not be a big star for Kiekko Vantaa, but is likely to play a few minutes here and there to allow the number one goalie to take a breather.

”Even though the contract has been signed, that doesn’t guarantee anything,” said Räty. “The challenge will be big. Now I need to work hard and change words into deeds.”

Latest in: News



Monday’s papers: Asylum seekers' costs, deadly steel cable to go and girls beat boys to high school but men still dominate as CEOs

Monday’s dailies delve into the PM’s estimate of the cost putting up asylum seekers in Finland this year; Helsinki city officials decide to take down a deadly cable that resulted in the death of a teen girl; how girls are outstripping boys in the contest to secure a place at the country’s top upper secondary schools; and how men still dominate in stock-listed companies.

Our picks