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2022 Olympics: Feb 6 recap

An exciting day of Olympic hockey that went late into the night!

Beijing 2022 Olympics: women’s ice hockey group stage, ROC vs Canada
Brianne Jenner and Polina Luchnikova fight for the puck in Monday’s matchup.
Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

The ROC falls to Canada, 6-1

Group A
Simon Hopkins

Goal Scorers

Canada: Sarah Nurse, Sarah Fillier, Jamie Lee Rattray (PP), Erin Ambrose, Rebecca Johnston (PP), Marie-Philip Poulin (PP)
ROC: Anna Shokhina

Both teams took to the ice for warm-ups before Canada exited the ice in a dramatic turn. As the score clock counted down towards puck drop, the Canadians were nowhere to be seen. The Russians sat patiently on the bench before leaving for the dressing room when it was announced the game would be delayed for an hour.

It was revealed that the ROC’s chief medical officer had not submitted their COVID test results to the Canadians who have been diligent about COVID protocol all year. The Canadians, who wanted to play the game, indicated that they would go ahead if the Russians agreed to wear KN-95 masks. They obliged, provided the Canadians also wore the masks.

After a 75 minute delay, the game started with more quick goals from Canada’s on-fire forwards. Nurse scored two minutes in, and Fillier added another 20 seconds later. They added two more goals in the second, prompting an ROC goalie change at the game's halfway point. 17-year-old Darya Gredzen made 30 saves on 34 shots in her first Olympic start. Mariya Sorokina made her return to the crease after being pulled against the United States the previous game.

From there, the game was relatively uneventful. Russia would put one in, and Canada snuck two past Sorokina, with Marie-Philip Poulin scoring her first of the tournament. It was another strong performance from Canada demonstrating the immense depth of this forward group.

Canada will face their toughest competition yet Monday night in a final preliminary round game against the United States. The ROC will battle Finland on Tuesday for seeding in the elimination round.

The USA tops Switzerland, 8-0

Group A
Simon Hopkins

Goal Scorers

USA: Hilary Knight (PP), Jesse Compher, Knight, Kelly Pannek, Amanda Kessel, Pannek, Compher, Dani Cameranesi
Switzerland: n/a

The Olympic excitement continued as the United States thumped Switzerland in a strong showing.

Five minutes into the first, Switzerland took a penalty, and the United States capitalized. They pinned the Swiss in their end with crisp passes sending the puck back and forth across the ice. Hilary Knight received the puck at the half-wall, skated to the net, put the puck into the chest of Saskia Maurer before collecting her rebound and roofing it over the goalie’s pads.

This was indicative of how the game would go. Even with the powerplay over, the Americans continued to pin play in the swiss end. They passed the puck around until someone found an opening and took a shot. It was 5-0 after the first which was enough to compel Coach Colin Muller to pull his goalie for the first time in the tournament. Andrea Brändli faired somewhat better in the Swiss net but struggled again with shots coming off of significant side-to-side puck movement.

The Swiss are guaranteed a quarterfinal matchup, but it will likely be against another group A team. They’ll want to get their offence rolling in their last preliminary game against Finland. The USA is feeling great and they’ll take that momentum into their matchup against Canada, which will determine the winner of Group A and highest seed in the tournament.

China beats Japan, 2 - 1 in a shootout

Group B
Michelle Jay

Goal Scorers

China: Baozhen Hu, Le Mi (shootout)
Japan: Akane Hosoyamada

Wow what a way to kick off the day was an absolute thriller in Group B! Japan scored late in the first period to take the one-goal lead into the second period. China came back out for the third period and scored quickly to tie it up. The two teams would remain deadlocked through the rest of the period and into overtime to force a shootout!

Goaltender Jiaying Zhou (China) and Nana Fujimoto (Japan) made dueling saves for the first three rounds before Le Mi (Hannah Miller) beat Fujimoto. Zhou would make the final stop to give China the win.

Despite the loss, Japan’s one point means they clinched a quarterfinal spot as they’ll finish in the top three of Group B.