April 8, 2009
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Women's ice hockey senior forward Mari Pehkonen (Tampere, Finland) is currently participating in the 2009 women's ice hockey World Championship for Team Finland. Team USA will include former Friar Karen Thatcher '06. The tournament, being held in Hameenlinna, Finland, will conclude with the championship on April 12.
Pehkonen is a seasoned veteran for Team Finland, having appeared in the 2006 Olympics and the 2007 and 2008 World Championship as well as the 2007 and 2008 Four Nations Cup. Pehkonen finished the year as the Friars' fifth-leading scorer with 11goals and six assists for 17 points. Pehkonen recorded three goals and three assists in the 2008 World Championship.
While at Providence, Thatcher finished her record-breaking career with 167 points in 132 games played as she had a hand in PC's Hockey East Tournament titles in 2004 and 2005. Thatcher ranks 10th in career points. A top-10 Patty Kazmaier Finalist, Thatcher led the team in scoring for the second straight time in 2005 with 47 points. She earned the Hockey East Sportsmanship award three consecutive seasons as well as All-Academic honors. Thatcher was named an All-America second team selection, a Hockey East All-Star, New England Hockey Writers All-Star, and Providence College Athlete of the Year in her final season with the Friars. Thatcher finished the 2008 World Championship with two goals in five games played.
Thatcher and Team USA are looking to defend their 2008 title after defeating Canada, 4-3, in the championship game. USA will play Finland on Thursday, April 9, with the opening faceoff set for 12 p.m. EDT. Team USA's games will be broadcast live over the Internet through UniversalSports.com while the Universal Sports Television Network will provide same-day coverage beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.
Along with Finland and the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweeden and Kazakhstan have all advanced to the qualifying round. A full schedule can be found at http://www.iihf.com.
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