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2022 Olympics: Feb. 8 recap

What a wild end to the preliminary round!

IHOCKEY-OLY-2022-BEIJING-SWE-DEN Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

Finland beat ROC, 5-0

Group A

Goal Scorers
Finland: Sanni Rantala, Michelle Karvinen, Jenniina Nylund, Minnamari Tuominen, Susanna Tapani
ROC: n/a

After a rough showing in their first three games, Finland showed up for their final, and arguably most important game, trouncing ROC 5-0. The huge goal differential was massively needed as it bumped Finland up to third place in Group A, meaning they’ll face the top team in Group B rather than a fellow Group A team in the quarterfinals.

Off the ice, North American fans woke up to the news that ROC player Polina Bolgareva tested positive after the delayed game against Canada. Finland opted to wear masks for the game whereas ROC did not, most likely because of this positive result on ROC.

On the ice, it was all Finland all game.

By the second period, Finland had five goals, equalling their total goals scored across their first three games. A big turning point came about midway through the second period. It appeared that Finland had scored on a high stick but the referees initial review sustained the call on the ice of a goal. ROC asked for a Coach’s Challenge of the goal for a second look at it. The call stood, and ROC had to take a penalty for the lost challenge. Less than a minute into the penalty, Susanna Tapani scored Finland’s fifth goal and ROC seemed to lose momentum from there.

Sweden beats Denmark, 3-1

Group B

Goal Scorers
Sweden: Emma Nordin, Lisa Johansson, Ebba Berglund (EN)
Denmark: Julie Oksbjerg

Both teams held their own Olympic fate in their hands in this game as a regulation win for either team would move them on to the quarterfinals.

Wowowowow. What a game. The two teams were about as evenly matched as they come. Sweden struck first early in the first period before Denmark tied the game midway thru the second period. Denmark took a quick penalty after that and Sweden capitalized getting the go-ahead goal.

Denmark looked like they might have had a chance in the third period as they controlled the puck well. With about 3 minutes left in the game, they tried to pull their goaltender. A referee didn’t realize that and whistled the play dead for too many skaters as they saw 6 skaters but not the goaltender heading to the bench behind them. No penalty was assessed but it cost Denmark some time with the extra skater.

Sweden took a penalty with just over two minutes left in the game and, with their goaltender pulled, Denmark had a two-skater advantage. They had a flurry of chances including hitting the crossbar. The dagger came when they took a penalty with about 90 seconds left in the game. Sweden was able to gain control of the puck and score on the empty net to advance to the quarterfinals and knock Denmark (and China) out.

Japan beat Czechia, 3-2 in the shootout

Group B

Goal Scorers
Japan: Haruka Toko, Toko, Hanae Kubo (SO)
Czechia: Denisa Krizova, Natalie Mlynkova

Japan’s win means they clinched first place in Group B.