While we have to wait a few more days for the men’s side of the tournament to get underway, the women kicked off their tournament nice and early Saturday morning. The two leading teams, Canada and the United States of America both played games on the first day and both came out on top.
The USA opened their tournament with a 3-1 win over team Finland, while Canada opened with a 5-0 win over the Swiss. Canada and the USA will likely meet again in the gold medal match as they did in Vancouver 2010 before the 2014 Olympics are over. Ultimately, both teams will need to win their prior games before a rematch is even possible.
While the 5-0 score makes it look like total domination for Canada in their first game, they ran into a hot goaltender from the Swiss who faced 69 shots and helped keep this game from getting out of hand. Canada was up 2-0 and already had 29 shots on net after the first 20.
Alternate captain Hayley Wickenheiser scored a shorthanded goal while the top line did most of the other scoring.
Canada’s # 1 Line of Johnston,Poulin and Hefford combine for 6 points in the 5-0 win vs Switzerland.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) February 8, 2014
The United States were involved in a much closer game against Finland at roughly 3 AM Eastern. Regardless of the time, team USA came to play and netted their first goal just 53 seconds into the game.
Much like their Canadian rivals the Americans bombarded their opponents with shots, but faced a strong goaltender who managed to keep the game close. The Americans fired 43 shots on the Finnish net and only 3 found their way in. The Americans got their goals from Hilary Knight, Kelli Stack, and Alex Carpenter.
Both teams will be back in action on Monday as Canada faces off against Finland and the USA faces off against the Swiss. Are Canada and the USA destined to meet in the gold medal match again to wrap up the 2014 Olympics? While most attention will be on the men, the potential Canada Vs. USA gold medal rematch will be a game worth watching. The two teams will get their first taste of each other on Wednesday when they square off for the first time.