Canada 11, Finland 1
Canada is just... incredible. The scoring came from all over the place, with all but three skaters registering at least a point. Sarah Nurse had a hat trick, Sarah Fillier continued her impressive showing with two goals, and Brianne Jenner also scored three. That's not even mentioning the four-point game by Natalie Spooner!
Japan 6, Denmark 2
Between this game and the next one from Japan, they look like the team to beat in Group B this year. Their top unit, with a line of Toko-Ukita-Shiga and a defensive pairing of Shiga-Toko, accounted for eight points in this win.
Czech Republic 3, Sweden 1
Another win for the Czech team! Considering this was only their second-ever Olympic game, great to see them get that victory again. It's also really interesting to see how they came out in the first period and outshot Sweden by a massive margin (24 to 5!). A quick glance at the shot chart from this game, particularly that first period, showcases just how dominant they were.
United States 5, ROC 0
The story of this game for me is the ROC goaltending. Yes, the final score was 5-0, but Maria Sorokina and Daria Gredzen combined for a whopping 57 saves. With that many shots on net, this could've easily been a 10-goal deficit or more. While that goal differential may or may not make a difference in the end, it's impressive that this one stayed as close as it did.
China 2, Japan 1
This was such a big win for China, upsetting a tough Japanese team in a shootout. Watching the Chinese players after the game, crying, speaks volumes about how important this victory was for them. Hu Baozhen (Madison Woo) had the tying goal early in the third period, and Mi Le (Hannah Miller) scored the lone goal in the shootout.
United States 8, Switzerland 0
Another game, another shutout for the Americans. First it was Nicole Hensley; this time, Alex Cavallini. Neither faced many shots, so the true test will be when they have to contend with a high-shooting team like Canada. Personally, I'd like to see Jincy Dunne get some more ice time. She played 9:52 in this one and potted two assists. Imagine what she could do with more time!
Canada 6, ROC 1
Canada really likes to get down low and work in close to the net, don't they? It paid off at least a few times in this one, including Jamie Lee Rattray's goal from the doorstep to the right of the goaltender in the second period, Marie-Philip Poulin's shot from just outside the crease and Rebecca Johnston's shot from the slot. If you want to have a chance at success against the Canadians, you can't let them get that close – they will find a way to score.
Lots of weird circumstances surrounding this game. The start was delayed by an hour, as ROC hadn't reported their COVID test results and Canada refused to play without them. (Honestly: Good for Canada for sticking by their principles!) In the end, both teams hit the ice and played with masks for much of the game.
Oh, and Emily Clark was taken off the ice mid-warmup due to an inconclusive test result. Ah, the joys of playing an international tournament in the midst of a pandemic...
Denmark 3, Czech Republic 2
It's truly been a pleasure to see Denmark in the tournament this year because we are getting to see all of their firsts, like this: their first-ever Olympic win. Silke Glud scored her first goal just 49 seconds into the third period on the power play, and that was the difference-maker in the end. Of course, on the other side, this was also the first Olympic loss for the Czech Republic, but they've still had a great showing so far.
Sweden 2, China 1
This one all came down to a pair of quick goals early in the second period, as Josefin Bouveng and Felizia Wikner-Zienkiewicz scored just 1:25 apart to tie the game & give Sweden the lead (and eventual win).
This is a huge win for Sweden, helping to keep their hopes of advancing alive. It's also good news for the Czech Republic, who are through to the quarterfinals by way of this victory. Meanwhile, for China, this loss will make it incredibly challenging for them to advance.
Switzerland 3, Finland 2
Wow, it's almost like Finland should've brought Noora Räty to Beijing! Maybe they wouldn't be 0-3 on the tournament so far if they had. This game is just another indicator of how important goaltending is, and how much of a difference it can make. Andrea Brändli really helped her team snag this win with a 38-save performance. We'll need to see more offense from both of these teams moving forward, as they've recorded just six (SUI) and five (FIN) goals to date.
1. Canada (3-0-0-0)
2. USA (3-0-0-0)
3. ROC (1-0-0-2)
4. Switzerland (1-0-0-3)
5. Finland (0-0-0-3)
1. Japan (2-0-1-0)
2. Czech Republic (2-0-0-1)
3. China (1-1-0-2)
4. Sweden (1-0-0-2)
5. Denmark (1-0-0-2)
All dates & times listed in Eastern US time.
Monday, February 7
11:10 PM - Canada vs. United States
Tuesday, February 8
3:40 AM - Japan vs. Czech Republic
8:10 AM - ROC vs. Finland
8:10 AM - Sweden vs. Denmark
Quarterfinals begin Thursday, February 10.
(Photo: Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)