The Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games has been exciting so far. It promises to get even more exciting the closer we get to elimination games. Canada played Finland. Japan played Denmark. Czech Republic played Sweden. The United States played ROC (Russia). It was a very entertaining night of hockey. Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who won gold with the United States in 2018 helped provide commentary in the United States ROC (Russia) game after participating in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
Canada did it again. They are playing very impressively right now. Canada played Finland. Finland was the third team in the power rankings coming into this game. It definitely hasn’t shown. After the first period it looked like Canada’s 12-1 gam against Switzerland was a one time deal and things were calming down. It was 2-1 Canada after the first period. Canada was still leading but it looked a lot more competitive. Then Canada put up 5 goals in the second period. They followed that up with 4 goals in the third period. Canada would win the game 11 to 1.
I don’t know what it’s going to take to eat Canada. The United States my be the only team that can beat Canada. Canada scored at will in this game. Finland couldn’t do anything to stop Canada. 11 goals on 48 shots is impressive. That’s 22 less shots and only one less goal then in their last game. Just as impressive is 23 goals in two games. They are just dominating teams right now. It’s like their playing EA NHL. There just on a whole other level. Even the game broadcast late in the game was like we’re going to take a break, heres skiing. It’s like watching a broadcast go off air because whatever is on screen is too brutal. What Canada has accomplished so far doesn’t seem real.
Japan was looking to stay on top of Group B. Denmark was trying to get out of last in Group B. Denmark was also coming off an embarrassing loss to China. Japan scored first about half way through the first period. They would then score two minutes later to make it 2-0 Japan. They would make it 3-0 Japan just over a minute later. Japan scored 3 goals within 4 minutes. Denmark tried to stop the bleeding by calling a time-out and then making a goaltending change. Japan would make it 3-0 Japan early in the second period. Denmark was able to get one back. They made the score 4-1 Japan. Japan then scored (basically putting the nail in the coffin) in the last minute of play. Japan took a 5-1 lead into the third. Denmark didn’t get anything going in the third. Japan would make it 6-1. Then Denmark would score in the closing seconds of the game.
Denmark just didn’t have what it took to beat the current top team in Group B. Denmark let in 6 goals in 42 shots. Denmark should have replaced their goalie with a wall of lego bricks. Both teams had plenty of power play time. Both teams allowed power play goals. If Japan didn’t have a target on their back they do now. They have proven themselves to be serious contenders to win Group B.
Another Group B game, Czech Republic took on Sweden. Czech republic came into this game gunning for the first place in Group B. Sweden was looking for their first win of the tournament. Their were four penalties in the first 20 minutes of play. The Czech republic would open up the scoring in the last two minutes of the first period. Czech Republic would take the 1-0 lead into the second period. More penalties for Czech Republic in second period. They would make it 2-0. Sweden would respond with goal in the final minute of the second to cut the Czech Republics lead in half. the Czech Republic would make it a two goal in the second half of the third period. The final was 3-1 Czech Republic.
Sweden now 0-2 are facing elimination. They need to get a win and soon. Allowing 46 shots doesn’t help. There was a lot of penalties in this game. when playing tougher opponents thats going to kill these teams. With this win the Czech Republic stay in the hunt to win Group B. The Czech Republic needs to find more ways to score. 3 goals on 46 shots isn’t going to win gold. They need to find more ways to score. Thats too many shots for just 3 goals. Credit to Czech Republic though they are finding ways to score goals.
The United States played ROC (Russia). The United States won 5-0. They shut out ROC (Russia) very impressively. I will go more in depth about this game in a later blog.
Here are the current group standings. Canada still leads Group A and Japan still leads Group B. The only way Canada will get knocked off the top is if they lose.
Japan vs China is a big rivalry game especially with the politics surrounding it. Will Japan stay undefeated and on top of Group B? Will China surprise everyone again by taking down the top team in Group B? Unites States vs Switzerland. Will the USA put up 10, 11, 12, or more goals? How badly will Switzerland lose this time? Will Switzerland manage to make the game competitive? Can anyone play competitive with USA and Canada besides USA and Canada? It is yet to be seen in 2022.