Akane Shiga makes history against Team USA

Team Japan scores not once, but twice against the Americans

Midway through the first period — at the 10:58 mark, to be precise — of the quarterfinal game between Team Japan and Team USA Akane Shiga made history.

Shiga found herself alone in the high slot after being set up beautifully by Haruka Toko. She ripped a shot on net and, somehow, it squeaked through the gear of veteran U.S. goaltender Alex Cavallini. Understandably, Team Japan exploded into celebration. History was made. It was Japan’s first goal against Team USA in Worlds competition.

Then, Shiga did it again. With less than three minutes left in the opening period, Shiga one-timed a gorgeous pass from Suzuka Taka past Cavallini to deliver a statement to the Americans and the world.

Shiga now has three goals in the 2021 Worlds and entered today’s game as Japan’s leader in shots on goal (17). Toko, who set up the first goal, now has four primary assists in the tournament.

Although they entered the second period trailing by a score of 5-2, Shiga’s two-goal period will be an unblemished and much-celebrated moment in the history of Japanese hockey. Shiga and her teammates have shown Japan and the next generation of players that it can be done. A team that is celebrated for its defensive structure and goaltending can light the lamp playing against the very best in the world.