International Ice Hockey Federation

Sweden edges unified Korea

Sweden edges unified Korea

Exhibition games in host country begin

Published 05.02.2018 22:35 GMT+10 | Author Martin Merk
Sweden edges unified Korea
Korean forward Jingyu Lee tried to score in an exhibition game against Sweden. Photo: Hong Ji Kim / Reuters
The first exhibition games in Korea have been played on Sunday. The unified Korean women’s national team lost 3-1 to Sweden, Canada blanked Switzerland 10-0.

It was a much anticipated game in Korea. The original team of 23 South Korean players were joined by 12 North Korean players in a gesture to use the Olympic Winter Games to stimulate more peaceful relations between the Koreas.

The unified team had on Sunday in Incheon near Seoul its first exhibition game against Sweden. Despite being ranked far away from Sweden in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking the Koreans managed to keep up and lost 3-1.

The game roster of 22 in the exhibition game included 18 players from the south while adding four players (forwards Su Hyon Jong, Song Hui Ryo, Un Hyang Kim, and defender Chung Gum Hwang) from the north of the divided Korean peninsula that is depictured on the new jerseys of the unified team.

A sell-out crowd of 3,000 came to the Seonhak ice rink in Incheon and had the biggest joy with 1:38 left in the opening frame when captain Jongah Park cut the Swedish lead with her 2-1 goal. The game had started with the teams’ anthems which in case of the unified Korean team is the centuries-old Korean folk song Arirang.

Previously Rebecca Stenberg had opened the scoring with 3:45 left in the first period followed by another marker from Hanna Olsson. Korean goalie So Jung Shin had previously frustrated the Swedes at several attempts.

With 20 seconds remaining in the first period Erika Grahm restored the two-goal lead and after scoreless 40 minutes the 3-1 score stayed until the end. Shots were 35-14 in Sweden’s favour.

Click here to watch a video from the game.

On the same day Canada blanked Switzerland 10-0 in another exhibition game. Blayre Turnbull, Natalie Spooner and Brigette Lacquette scored two goals apiece for the defending Olympic champion.

Two more exhibition games will be played on Tuesday between Switzerland and Finland, and between Sweden and the Olympic Athletes of Russia.

The teams will then gather up to the mountains for the opening ceremony on Friday. The 2018 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament begins on Saturday. The men’s tournament begins four days later on 14th February.

Women’s exhibition games overview
Men’s exhibition games overview

 

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