China stunned Japan 2-1 in Group B play on Sunday at the Wukesong Sports Centre thanks to a goal from Le Mi (Hannah Miller) in the shootout.
The Chinese captain, Baiwei Yu, broke down in tears after the victory, saying, “I’m really delighted for my teammates that we could win this game.” It’s an honour to represent China on the international stage.
Japan Still Earned Enough Points
Despite the setback, Japan still earned enough points to go to the knockout round of the 2022 Olympics.
Also on the rise are China’s playoff prospects. China has now won two straight games and is third in Group B with five points after winning both of those games by a margin of two or more goals. With a 3-1 victory over Denmark, the Chinese earned their first ever Olympic triumph on home ice. Denmark, like Sweden, has now lost both of its Olympic games.
Japan held off a determined Chinese assault in the opening frame. The second and third quarters were classic displays of pace and discipline from Coach Yuji Iizuka’s squad, but China remained resolute. The home team, ranked 20th in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking, played a tough game against a top-ranked opponent in Japan.
China’s Baozhen Hu (Maddie Woo) Scored her Country’s First Olympic Goal in the Waning Minutes of Regulation Time.
Akane Hosoyamada, a Japanese assistant captain, scored Japan’s second goal at the Olympics. Japan’s goal is to finish higher in the Olympics than they did in 2008. (sixth in 1998 and 2018).
A high-speed, high-skill game that went back and forth, as described by Hosoyamada. It was a game of chances, with both teams having good opportunities but the other coming out on top by a single goal.
On Monday, China plays Sweden in their last Group B match. On Tuesday, Japan will play the undefeated Czech Republic.
It will be the hardest battle ever,” Iizuka stated. We anticipate a strong start from our players that will allow them to secure first position.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist Fujimoto was defeated by the Chinese goalkeeper Jiaying Zhou in their goaltending showdown. With a score of 33 to 30, Japan defeated China.
Zhou, who blocked all five of Japan’s shootout efforts, said, “Winning today’s game merely means we can play more games, and I just want to be ready for tomorrow’s game [against Sweden].” We’re already attempting to prepare for the game tomorrow.
China made a sincere, concerted attempt against Japan, firing many pucks at Fujimoto and making it difficult for the Japanese to clear their zone. In the eighth minute, the Japanese goalie had to be on her toes when top Chinese scorer Qiqi Lin (Leah Lum) deflected a shot by top Japanese defender Yuting Wang (Jessica Wong) towards goal.
Hosoyamada stated, “We knew they were going to come out hard.” They have some talented players, and they are a decent squad overall.”
A minute later, in the Japanese zone, Chinese assistant captain Mengying Zhang was left crumpled on the ice after a knee-on-knee collision with linemate Beika Li (Rebekah Kolstad). Zhang was loaded onto a stretcher and taken away.
In light of their injured teammate, the Chinese redoubled their efforts, but Beika Li’s bad luck didn’t end there. At 18:02, when captain Chiho Osawa was serving a penalty for an illegal hit, Hosoyamada opened the scoring on the power play with a laser wrister that beat Jiaying Zhou high to the stick side.
On their eighth man-advantage, the Chinese allowed their first goal of these Olympic games. At the same time, Le Mi kidnapped yet another underage girl, and Japan immediately resorted to the woman advantage, albeit without success.
Ni Lin (Rachel Llanes) was penalised for the same offence in the second period as the Chinese, who were stacked with veterans from the KRS Vanke Rays of the Russian Women’s Hockey League.
Leaders like Japan’s Chiho Osawa and China’s Yuting Wang boldly blocked shots as the scoreless middle stanza drew on. All the more dramatic for the air of desperation that pervaded the scene.
China Tied the Game on a Broken Play at 1:06 into the Third Session.
Finally, Beika Li was rewarded when her shot was deflected off Japanese defenseman Shiori Koike and a kneeling Fujimoto bobbled the puck, allowing Baozhen Hu to pop it into a half-empty net. Joyful noises could be heard throughout the Wukesong Sports Centre.
As of right now, the Chinese ladies are doing better than the combined Korean squad in PyeongChang. Three of the first four games of 2018 ended in losses for the Koreans: 8-0 to Switzerland, 8-0 to Sweden, and 4-1 to Japan.
China defeated Japan, 6-1, in their only Olympic match before, on 11 February 1998 in Nagano. In that season, China’s senior IIHF team achieved their highest finish ever, placing fourth overall.
China has taken two of the four matches between these two Asian rivals at the Women’s World Cup (2000, 2004, and 2009), while Japan has taken the other two (2008, and 2009). (2-1).