The Women’s Ice Hockey tournament at the XXIV Olympic Winter games continued. Four games were played. It was the end of group play. All of the teams in Group A automatically moved on. All of the teams in Group B still had a chance to move on. Two of the teams in Group B would not make it to the elimination stage. The United States played Canada in what was the most anticipated game of the group stage. Japan played Czech Republic. Sweden played Denmark. Finland played ROC (Russia).
The United States lost to Canada 2-4. There was plenty of action in this game. There is a lot to talk about this one. Like all USA games in this tournament I will have an in depth post out later.
Japan vs Czech Republic. Japan was in the top spot for Group B. Czech Republic had a chance to overtake Japan for the top spot in Group B. Regardless of the result of this game both teams were moving on to the elimination stage. Japan scored the only goal of the first period. Czech Republic tied the game with the olny goal of the second period. Japan would take the lead early in the third period. Five minutes later Czech republic would score the goal to send the game to overtime. Neither team scored in over time. Japan would score the only goal in the shootout to win the game. The final score was 3-2 Japan.
By winning the game Japan stayed on top of Group B. There were plenty of penalties in this one. Japan was able to capitalize on 2 of their powerplays. This game was close. Czech Republic being able to send the game to overtime was big for them. Both teams are looking good heading into the quarterfinals.
Sweden vs Denmark. Both teams were at the bottom of Group B. Both teams had won one game in the tournament heading into this game. If either team won in regulation, the winning team would move on to the elimination stage. China would be eliminated. If the game went into overtime China still had a chance to beat out both teams to get the last spot into the elimination round.
Sweden scored the only goal of the first period 3 minutes into the game. Denmark would tie the game late in the second period. Sweden would score 2 minutes later to take the lead back. Late in the third period, Denmark would call a timeout and pull their goalie. Sweden would score on the empty net to take a two goal lead with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Sweden would win the game with a final score of 3-1 Sweden. With this win Sweden secured the final spot in the elimination round.
Denmark only had 18 shots. That’s not going to win games. Both teams took plenty of penalties. Sweden was the only one able to capitalize on their powerplayer. Both teams did not play well in the group stage. With this win Sweden eliminated China. Sweden will be moving on to the quarterfinals. They may be one and done in the elimination stage based on how they played in the group stage.
Finland vs ROC (Russia). Finland finds itself at the bottom of Group A after being the third favorite coming into this game. ROC (Russia) came into this game having COVID issues that effected the roster. They also struggled to find offense so far in the tournament. ROC (Russia) had an embarrassing display in their last game regarding COVID rules. Their last game was delayed over an hour after not giving Canada their COVID results. Then ROC (Russia) refused to wear masks in the third period after both teams and official wore them for the first two periods. ROC (Russia) was acting like clowns in their last game.
Finland opened up the scoring half way through the first. Finland would expand their lead in last two minutes of the first period. Finland took a 2-0 lead into the second period. Finland would expand their lead to 3-0 in the second period. 3 minutes later they would expand their lead to 4-0. A minute after scoring their fourth goal they would score their fifth goal. Finland would take a 5-0 lead into the third period. Neither team scored in the third period. The final score was 5-0 Finland.
Both team automatically advance into the elimination round. ROC (Russia) has scored 1 goal in their last three games of the tournament. Both teams will be playing in the Quarterfinals. There were a lot of penalties in this game. It hurt ROC (Russia) a lot as Finland was able to score on three of their powerplays. ROC (Russia) is going to have to find ways to score goals if they are to move past the Quarterfinals. Finland is finally not underperforming. I don’t know what changed but they need to keep it up to find success moving forward.
Here are the final group standings. Canada won Group A. Finland was able to move into third. Japan won Group B. Sweden was able to knock off China for the last spot into the Quarterfinals.
The Women’s Hockey Tournament will resume on the 11th. Upcoming games:
Will Canada steam roll through Sweden? Does Sweden have what it takes to be competitive with Canada? Will the United States show that they are still in the race for gold after after their loss to Canada? Will the Czech Republic upset the United States? Will Japan roll through Finland? Will Finland show that they are still medal contenders? Will ROC (Russia) find a way to end their scoring troubles? Will Switzerland upset ROC (Russia)?