Pyeongchang, South Korea
7:10 AM EST/ 21:10 LOCAL
While an almost sold out game with Korea's Unified hockey team brought great historical significance, Korea fell to Switzerland 8-0 in Saturday night's game in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The women's Korean hockey team was heavily outshot by their opponent, barely leaving their own zone in the first two periods. Face-offs were lost, failed clearing attempts were detrimental, and the defensive coverage looked like something out of NHL 18, with players over skating and flying by their Swiss opponents, heading the wrong direction. While this doesn't come as a shock, there was still a lot to be said about the Korean hockey team.
For one, their fan base was explosive. While there weren't very many chances for celebration, the Korean team's fan base would explode in cheers as notable players such as Grace Lee would finally get the puck over the blue line and create scoring opportunities- despite the heavy deficit they were facing against their Swiss opponents. If Grace Lee had a line of Grace Lees we would have seen a much different game.
Another notable observation was Korean goaltender, Shin So-Jung. While some might overlook her due to a 8-0 blowout, Shin faced an inordinate amount of shots while making significant and impressive split saves throughout the game. When you look at the score its easy to blame the goaltender, yet when the team has under 10 shots against their opponent, it's time to start pointing the finger at the real issue- lack of offensive pressure and inability to complete East-West passes without detrimental turnovers.
While the Unified Korean team marked a significant historical event, Alina Müller of the Swiss Women's hockey team had an extraordinary night. The first period brought us the game's first three goals, all brought to you by star 19 year-old forward, Alina Müller. After scoring a remarkable natural hat trick, Müller ripped a shot in the beginning of the second period to tie for the Olympic record for goals scored in women's hockey. By the third period, with a healthy lead on their Korean rivals, the team was obviously adamant about trying to get that fifth goal for their teammate in an attempt to shatter the previous Olympic record.
Müller almost snatched a fifth goal, but failed to get the puck over Shin's left shoulder, creating a big save for the Koreans.
Next game will debut the United States as they take on Finland on Sunday at 2:40 AM EST on NBCSN followed up by Canada vs. OAR at 7:10 AM EST on USA Network.
See Korea play again while taking on Sweden Monday February 12 at 7:10 AM EST (Broadcast TBD) and Switzerland at 2:40 AM EST against Japan.