Japan beats Denmark, 6-2
Japan: Hikaru Yamashita, Haruka Toko, Rui Ukita, Ayaka Toko, Akane Shiga (PP), Haruna Yoneyama
Denmark: Mia Bau, Josefine Jakobsen (PP)
Team Japan simply outclassed Team Denmark in the wee hours of the morning (for those of us in North America), prevailing with a 6-2 win over the Danes. Japan had six different goal scorers in the contest, five of which were scored at even strength. All positive signs for Japan’s offense, even if it came at the expense of Denmark.
Another interesting note is that Nana Fujimoto made an early exit from the game with no apparent sign of injury once the game was well in hand for Japan. It looks like head coach Yuji Iizuka is doing everything he can to make sure his star goaltender is well-rested for the rest of the tournament. Fujimoto stopped 12 of the 13 shots she faced before being taken out halfway through the third.
Czechia beats Sweden, 3-1
Czechia: Tereza Vanišová (2), Klara Hymlarová
Sweden: Emma Muren
Vanišová led the way for Czechia in their 3-1 win over the Swedes with two unassisted goals in 18:44 TOI. But don’t overlook the performance by Czech goaltender Klára Peslarová, who stopped 27 of the 28 shots she faced in what proved to be a big test for the Czechs.
USA breaks through ROC, 5-0
USA: Savannah Harmon (PP), Hilary Knight, Grace Zumwinkle, Jesse Compher, Alex Carpenter
Team USA definitely played the part of being the better team in this one, but they didn’t truly break through until the third period. With that said, they were outshooting Russia by a ratio of 6:1 through the first 40 minutes of the game. So, the end result was never really in doubt in this one.
Maria Sorokina, ROC’s goaltender, was having a great game before she faltered as a result of exhaustion in the third. Russia changing goaltenders against USA (or Canada) after they burn themselves out trying to keep their team in the game. Sound familiar?
Heading into the final 20 minutes, it was a 2-0 game for USA, with goals from Harmon and Knight. Then things opened up. With the ice fully tilted in their favor and the shot differential spiraling out of control, Team USA scored three goals in less than five minutes prompting Russia to pull Sorokina and send in 17-year-old Darya Gredzen.
The real story of this game was Team USA’s relentless attack. Every line looked dangerous and was too much to handle for Team ROC. As expected, the Americans didn’t back down when the Russians tried to get physical and played with snarl and skill. Without the goaltending of Sorokina and Gredzen, the final score could have been even more lopsided. At the final whistle, Team USA outshot Team ROC 62-12. Savannah Harmon skated off with a three-point game.