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Czech Republic 3, China 1
So great to see the Czechs win their first-ever Olympic game! Tereza Vanišová and Denisa Křížová, both former Boston Pride players, scored, and it was a light load for Klára Peslarová, who made 13 saves. On the other side, this is China's first Olympic appearance in a long time and I had wanted to see them put up a stronger showing, especially given that this team has essentially been training together for so long.
Canada 12, Switzerland 1
I mean... what can you even say? We all knew Canada would be a powerhouse going into Beijing, and they wasted no time showing just how strong they are. For me, defender Claire Thompson was the player of the game for this one. In her Olympic debut – and on the blueline! – she recorded five points, including four assists. Not to be forgotten, Sarah Fillier also had an incredible Olympic debut, with two goals and an assist in just over 13 minutes of playing time.
Mélodie Daoust played only 6:53 before suffering an injury. She was seen at Friday's opening ceremonies with her arm in a sling, casting doubt on her return.
Japan 3, Sweden 1
A story of goaltenders and back-and-forth action! In the end, this one came down to one goal: Rui Ukita's tie-breaking tally early in the third period. Emma Söderberg had a great performance – with 37 saves – but it was that one goal that made the difference.
United States 5, Finland 2
Not a bad tournament opener for the United States, but not to be disregarded is the performance of Susanna Tapani, who had both of Finland's goals. If you missed this one, it was an odd sequence of events at the "end" of the game, where a Finland goal was reviewed and 2:20 was subsequently added back on to the clock! Just when you thought it was over... it wasn't.
Brianna Decker suffered a leg injury upon colliding with a Finnish player. She will miss the remainder of the Olympics.
China 3, Denmark 1
Great to see China rally back after their loss to the Czechs with a win over Denmark. Lin Qiqi (Leah Lum) had two goals in the victory, but it's also awesome to see Denmark's first-ever Olympic goal scored by Malene Frandsen. One thing to keep an eye on with these teams: their player usage. The Danes relied heavily on a small handful of skaters who saw over 22-23 minutes of ice time. Others played under five minutes! China was slightly more balanced, but Wang Yuting (Jessica Wong) played a whopping 28:10, nearly half the game.
ROC 5, Switzerland 2
A hat trick for Polina Bolgareva was a key point of the win for ROC in this one. Can we also be grateful that Alina Müller is in Beijing after the COVID scare that threatened to keep her out of the Olympics? She's such a treat to watch and it's great to see her on the big stage.
1. Canada (1-0-0-0)
2. USA (1-0-0-0)
3. ROC (1-0-0-0)
4. Finland (0-0-0-1)
5. Switzerland (0-0-0-2)
1. Japan (1-0-0-0)
2. Czech Republic (1-0-0-0)
3. China (1-0-0-1)
4. Sweden (0-0-0-1)
5. Denmark (0-0-0-1)
All dates & times listed in Eastern US time.
Friday, February 4
11:10 PM - Canada vs. Finland
Saturday, February 5
3:40 AM - Czech Republic vs. Sweden
3:40 AM - Denmark vs. Japan
8:10 AM - USA vs. ROC
Sunday, February 6
3:40 AM - China vs. Japan
8:10 AM - Switzerland vs. USA
Filed under: beijing 2022; 2022 olympics; ice hockey; team czech republic; team switzerland; team china; team canada; team finland; team denmark; team russia; ROC; team japan; team sweden; team usa
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