- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Jesse Vetter is back in goal for the U.S. women’s hockey team.

The No. 1 goaltender when the Americans played Canada in the gold medal game in Vancouver four years ago will get the start when the United States opens the Sochi Olympics against Finland on Saturday.

“She’s just playing great,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said Friday after the team’s last full practice before the opener. “She’s doing her job and we just decided to go with Jesse.”

Vetter was a three-time NCAA champion at Wisconsin and the winner of the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Award given to the top player in women’s college hockey. She went 3-1 with the U.S. Olympic team that won a silver medal in Vancouver in 2010.

Backups Brianne McLaughlin and Molly Schaus were also on the U.S. team four years ago. They split time in the Vancouver opener, a 12-1 victory over a Chinese team that wasn’t a contender and managed only seven shots.

Vetter played the rest of the games, allowing one goal on 42 shots in three games before a 2-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal game. This year, the Americans open with Finland, which is a favorite to reach the medal round.

Stone, who is in her first Olympics as head of Team USA, has not said whether she will split playing time among her goalies or use one exclusively.


Follow Jimmy Golen on Twitter at: https://www.twitter.com/jgolen .

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