Finnish goaltender Noora Räty has signed with Nokian Pyry in the third-tier men’s Suomi-Sarja league, she announced Thursday on social media.
Räty, 27, is in the midst of her second season with the SM-Sarja. The transfer will take Räty from her home in Helsinki to Nokia, a two hour drive north of the Finnish capital and the Espoo suburb where she grew up. Her previous team KJT currently sits at 15th place in the 16-team league, while Pyry is fourth with three wins in five games played this season. While the superior record factored into Räty's decision, she also cited a "great environment.”
"In Nokia the frameworks are already in place, the team has a high-quality goaltending coach, and two fierce competitors on the goalkeeper's plot, Juha Taponen and Kalle Hokkanen," she told PyryHockey.com.
With preparations for the 2017 World Championships underway and the 2018 Olympics looming large, playing time was also a major issue. Prior to today's news the KJT roster carried five goaltenders, a heavy load for any team and a burden for any netminder looking for consistent ice time. Consistent training and exercise can only go so far, a sentiment Räty echoed: “For me it was important to play in addition to training.”
Currently vacationing in Thailand with her mother Ulla, Räty will make her Nokian Pyry debut in January.