Olympics Recap: Day 3

Schelling bails out Switzerland, Müller eats ice time for breakfast and Sweden dominates Korea.

Switzerland defeats Japan, 3-1

Alyssa Lonmguir

Japan faced Sweden missing forward Rui Ukita who was suspended for one game after making a kicking motion at a Swedish player during their team's loss on Saturday night. But despite that hole in their lineup, this looked like Japan’s game to lose early on. The Swiss team, with the exception of Florence Schelling, looked flat in the first period. Switzerland was out-shot seven to one by Japan in the first twenty minutes of the game.

However, a penalty in the dying minutes of the first would serve to be the linchpin that secured Japan’s undoing. Switzerland stepped onto the ice with new life in the second period. Sara Benz scored two power play goals in under three minutes for the defending Sochi bronze medalists.

Alina Müller’s fifth goal of the tournament gave Switzerland a 3-0 lead five minutes into the third period. Not long after that Hanae Kubo scored for Japan on a redirect from Mika Hori, but it would not be enough. When the final horn sounded, the Japanese had dominated the Swiss in shots, 38 to 18, but costly penalties and Schelling proved to be the difference.

It was a hard-fought win for Switzerland, who have now clinched their place in the quarterfinals. Florence Schelling faced 37 shots in the game and added another standout performance to her already impressive Olympic résumé. Alina Müller lead all Swiss players in ice time with 25:35 despite being a 19-year-old forward. Only Japan’s Akane Hosoyamada of Japan was on the ice more, with a staggering 25:53 TOI in the losing effort.

Sweden defeats Korea, 8-0

Mike Murphy

For the second straight game the Koreans were handed an 8-0 loss by a more established European hockey power.

The Swedes took an early lead four minutes into the first period thanks to a power play goal from Maja Nylen Persson. Just over five minutes later Damkronorna scored their first even strength goal of the contest when Elin Lundberg ripped a shot from the point that squeaked through Sojung Shin. Just thirty seconds later Fanny Rask picked up her second primary assist of the period. She skated behind the Korean net and set up Johanna Fallman for a one-timer that beat shin over her right shoulder.

The onslaught continued when Erica Uden Johansson buried her own rebound on an odd-man rush for the Swedes with three minutes left in the first period. That goal gave Sweden a commanding 4-0 lead heading into the second period.

Just past four minutes into the second period Sweden’s most dangerous forward Pernilla Winberg made it 5-0 when Emmy Alsami sprung her through the neutral zone. Winberg’s goal was a powerful example of just how far ahead Team Sweden is compared to the united Korean team. She had little trouble skating around the Korean defense and roofed a puck that Shin had no chance at stopping.

In the third period Korea continued to struggle to keep Sweden’s defense from making an impact. Damkronorna scored their fifth goal of the game 69 seconds into the third when Emma Nordin deflected a point shot from Elin Lundberg past Shin. Just 36 seconds later the Swedes added a greasy goal to make it 7-0. Shin bobbled a Winberg shot taken from inside the right faceoff circle and ended up pushing the puck back into her own net with her skate. It was that kind of game for Korea.

Not long after Winberg’s second goal she set up Rebecca Stenberg to make it an 8-0 game for the women in yellow and blue. The score wouldn’t change again in the final 15 minutes of regulation.

It’s safe to say that Winberg was the most noticeable skater in the game. She had six shots, two goals and a primary assist despite playing less than 16 minutes. One silver lining for the Koreans is a dramatic improvement in getting shots on net. The Koreans put 19 shots on Sara Grahn today after making Florence Schelling stop only eight pucks on February 10. Also, with the exception of Winberg’s second goal, this was another solid performance from Sojung Shin. She stopped 42 of the 50 shots she faced in the game.