PHOTO FROM ELITE PROSPECTS
October 1, 2018 – The hopes of the Connecticut Whale to contend for the Isobel Cup were increased this morning as Finnish Olympic Team goaltender Meeri Räisänen signed a contract to play with the club in 2018-19. Räisänen joins Russian National Team goaltender Maria Sorokina to give the Whale a supremely talented and accomplished goaltending tandem.
“I have dreamed about living and playing in the States for the past few years and now I am very excited to join the NWHL and the Connecticut Whale,” said Räisänen. “The NWHL has many of the best players in the world and I am really looking forward to playing with against them. This will be a thrilling new challenge for me and I know I’m going to learn a lot more from my teammates and coaches. Every game will be good hockey and I am ready to give my all for the Whale.”
The 28-year-old Räisänen has a long-standing history with the Finnish National Team, working her way up from the U18 squad into the senior ranks, representing Finland at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, when Finland took home bronze. She has appeared in four World Championships for Finland, earning bronze in 2015 and All-Star honors in 2015 and 2016.
After making headlines by playing in the men’s league in Finland, Sumoi-Sarja, she spent last season playing for HPK Hämeenlinna in Finland’s women’s professional league, Naisten Liiga. She posted a .941 save percentage in 23 regular-season games for HPK, earning the Tuula Puputti Award as the best goaltender in the league.