Olympic Women’s Hockey Update: USA vs. Canada and the end of the preliminary round

The preliminary round of women’s hockey wrapped up yesterday, deciding the standings and teams heading into the Quarter Finals. There was also a fantastic rivalry game between team USA and team Canada. The past three days in women’s hockey have been can’t miss, but if you can’t stay up late or forgot to tune in, here is the recap of the past few days. 

Day 6: 

Group A: 

Switzerland vs. Finland 

Switzerland Wins! 

Score: 3-2

Shot Count: Switzerland: 24 Finland: 40 

Goal Scorers: 

Switzerland: Lara Christen (1), Dominique Reugg (1), Lara Stalder (1)

Finland: Nelli Laitinen (1), Elisa Holopainen (1) 

Takeaways: Switzerland gets their first win of the tournament. It makes them pull ahead of Finland in Group A. Winning once gives a substantial morale boost for the Swiss team going into the Quarterfinal round. 

USA vs. Canada

Canada wins! 

Score: 4-2

Shot Count: Canada: 27 USA: 53 

Goal Scorers: 

Canada: Brianne Jenner (2), Jamie Lee Rattray (1), Marie-Philip Poulin (1)

USA: Dani Cameranesi (1), Alex Carpenter (1)

Takeaways: Whenever these two teams showdown, it is epic. This game was fast-paced and loaded with talent. However, team USA was goalied. Canada’s goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens made 51 saves. The USA dominated the first period, outshooting Canada 16-6, but for most of the period, it was 13-2. Yet Canada went into the second period with the lead because of a powerplay goal. Canada’s special teams are incredible and are rolling. They are 94% on the penalty kill and 50% on the powerplay. That and goaltending were the significant factors. Maddie Rooney (USA’s goaltender) and USA’s penalty kill couldn’t stop Canada on the powerplay. Desbiens stopped almost everything the USA threw at her. Rooney has a winning record against team Canada, so it is understandable why she started, but it is a bit shocking that they didn’t ride one of the two goalies who got shutouts in the past two games. Granted those goalies only faced 12 shots, but usually, the hot goalie gets the start. Rooney was the only USA goalie to not get a shutout before this game, and she was absolutely outplayed by Desbiens. 

Group B: 

Sweden vs. China 

Sweden Wins! 

Score: 2-1

Shot Count: Sweden: 33 China: 33

Goal Scorers: 

Sweden: Felizia Wikner-Zienkiewicz (1), Josefin Bouveng (1) 

China: Kang Mulan (1) 

Takeaways: This was Sweden’s first win of the tournament. It was vital for them to gain momentum and points in the standings. China’s goaltending continues to astound. 

Denmark vs. Czechia 

Denmark Wins! 

Score: 3-2

Shot Count: Denmark: 17 Czechia: 32

Goal Scorers: 

Denmark: Josefine Jakobsen (1), Michelle Weis (1), Silke Glud (1) 

Czechia: Aneta Tejralova (1), Katerina Mrazova (1) 

Takeaways: Even though Denmark will probably not make it beyond the preliminary round, they beat favorite to win Group B Czechia. It was a big win for Denmark’s team using this Olympics to establish themselves in the games. This was a statement win. They beat one of the best teams in their group. 

Day 7: 

Group A: 

ROC vs Finland 

Finland Wins! 

Score: 5-0 

Shot Count: Finland: 30 ROC: 19

Goal Scorers: 

ROC: N/A

Finland: Sanni Rantala (1), Michelle Karvinen (1), Jenniina Nylund (1), Minnamari Tuominen (1), Susanna Tapani(1)

Takeaways: This is Finland’s first tournament win, which must feel good for team morale. No teams in group A get eliminated, but it is definitely a confidence booster to get a win and a shutout, no less. Finland also had five goals by five players, which speaks highly of their offense. However, if you are cheering for ROC, this can’t feel good; the ROC hasn’t won since their first game against Switzerland. They have also been shut out twice. The ROC is not playing well enough to medal. However, Finland’s victory made all three teams (ROC, Finland, and Switzerland) tie for third in Group A. 

Group B: 

Sweden vs. Denmark 

Sweden Wins! 

Score: 3-1 

Shot Count: Sweden: 20 Denmark: 26

Goal Scorers: 

Denmark: Julie Oksbjurg (1)

Sweden: Emma Nordin (1), Lisa Johansson (1), Ebba Berglund (1)  

Takeaways: It was a good win for team Sweden which allowed them to bump up in the standings. Team Sweden has had a rough go of it this Olympics, but they finished the preliminary round with a win, which should be a good booster for the team going into the quarter-finals. It is disappointing for team Denmark as they have been eliminated from play, but for team Denmark, just being in the tournament was a win since this was the first year that they have had a women’s hockey team. 

Japan vs. Czechia 

Japan Wins! 

Score: 3-2 (in the shootout) 

Shot Count: Japan: 24 Czechia: 38

Goal Scorers: 

Japan: Haruka Toko (2), Hanae Kubo (shootout winner) 

Czechia: Denisa Krizova (1), Natalie Mlynkova (1)

Takeaways: With this win, Japan took the top spot in Group B. It was an upset since Czechia won Group B at the world hockey championship in Alberta. Japan takes the top place from Group B, moving into the Quarterfinals. 

Quarter-Final Matchups: 

2/10/2022: 

The USA vs. Czechia 

2/11/2022: 

Canada vs. Sweden 

ROC vs. Switzerland 

2/12/2022:

Finland vs. Japan 

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