More Women’s Ice Hockey. More insanity. Things got insane in the Japan vs China game. The only other game was between the United States and Switzerland. This post will mostly cover the China vs Japan game as well as the Standings. I will do a more in depth game review post about the United States vs Switzerland game later.
One of the Chinese players was stretchered off the ice. This was the first major thing to happen in the game. She collided with one of the other Chinese players. I hope she is alright. Japan scored first. They took a 1-0 lead into the second period. Neither team scored in the second period. China would score the only goal of the third period to send the game into overtime. Neither team scored in Overtime. China did have a goal waved off. The Chineses player crashed the net while being taken down by one of the Japanese players. In the process the Chinese player pushed the goalie into the net. It looked like goaltender interference to me. I didn’t think she was being forced into the goalie. The puck also didn’t go in until after she moved the goalie. The game went into a shootout. The only player to score in the shootout was Le Mi. China won the game 2-1 in a shoutout.
It was a good even and competitive game. Japan will stay on top of Group B. Japan could have won this game. Their were points in the game where Japan was outplaying China. They just couldn’t find that second goal. They let China stick around in the game. China was able to force the shootout. The shootout became an impressive display by both goaltenders. The shootout was all about them. The goalies really battled it out. Then Le Mi comes around and scored. Japan did not look happy walking off the ice and for good reason. Le Mi is Canadian Hannah Miller. She played for the Canadian U18 team and St Lawerance. The only reason she is playing on the Chinese team is because she meets the IIHF residency standards. Majority of the China hockey teams success so far in this tournament is due to her. I understand how that can be unfair. I can understand how Japan may feel robbed because a Canadian won the game for China. On the other side of that, Japan knew this information coming in. They had 60 minutes to get a second goal and didn’t. So people can’t really complain about Hannah Millers involvement.
Should Hannah Miller be on the Chinese team? Thats up for debate. If she is just doing it for the olympics and her own glory then no. If she was on the team before and plans on staying with the team and in China then I think it’s fine. The reaction I have seen from the web is that she doesn’t belong because she’s not Chinese. Sportsnet has an article on it you can see here. So why doesn’t every IIHF team just poach North Americans then? Well they do. This isn’t too uncommon in international hockey. A lot of players secure spots on other teams from their families origin countries because they wont make it on the USA or Canada rosters. The problem I see with this is that its not good for domestic hockey growth or for the international game itself. A team with all the players from their country playing a team with no players from the country they are representing isn’t good for the sport. Those players wont connect with fans in the same way. It is also harder for aspiring athletes when athletes from other countries can just come in and take your spot. Here is more on the IIHF residency rules.
In the only other game the United States played Switzerland. I will have an in depth review of this game in my next post. But once again the USA proved why they are defending champions. In their second shutout in as many games they defeated Switzerland 8-0. Canada may have put up more on Switzerland but they haven’t even had a shutout. USA has 2 in 3 games.
Here are the current group standings. The United States sits on top of Group A for the time being. Japan stays on top of Group B despite the loss. Since the game went into overtime Japan has enough points and will be moving past the group stage.
ROC (Russia) vs Canada. Will Canada put up 10 goals again? Will ROC (Russia) have what it takes to stand up to Canada? Denmark vs Czech Republic. Will Denmark finally get a win? Will Czech Republic be able to stay in the second spot in Group B? China vs Sweden. Will Chinas success continue? Will Sweden finally get their first win? Switzerland vs Finland. Who will get their first win? Will Switzerlands issues continue. Will Finland continue to underperform?