Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Finnish international goalie Noora Raty could be close to a return to the Women’s Hockey League — barely a month after the injury that threatened to end her season.

The KRS Vanke Rays’ netminder is currently at home in Finland undergoing rebab after she suffered a lower body injury in February’s exhibition game against Team Russia. But, according to Dragon’s head coach Brian Idalski, she’s set to link up with the team later this week when it returns from Krasnoyarsk, where it began its playoff campaign with a 3-0 victory over Biryusa on Wednesday.

“Noora’s doing well,” Idalski said after the game. Rehab is going well, she’s been out on the ice and she’s going to rejoin us in Stupino.

“After that, we’ll see. But first, we have to take care of this series.”

Noora Raty, 31, had to be helped off the ice after stretching to make a save during the exhibition game on Feb. 5. At the time, it was feared that she would be unable to play again this season but later the three-time Olympian announced that the injury would recover without surgery. Early in February she travelled back to her native Finland for rehab, and to spend time with family and friends.

News of Raty’s progress is a boost for the Vanke Rays as the Chinese franchise seeks to defend its WHL title. It’s also good news for Team Finland ahead of the Women’s World Championship, due to be played in Canada from April 7-17.

The Rays made a winning start to this year’s playoffs thanks to a shut-out from Kimberly Newell and two goals from Rachel Llanes in a 3-0 win over Biryusa. The teams meet again on Thursday and a second KRS victory would wrap up the best-of-three semi-final series. The second semi-final pairing sees SKIF take on last year’s runner-up Agidel.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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