Preliminary rounds of the Olympic women’s hockey tournament began on Saturday.
The competition includes two brackets – with the top six of eight teams from this week’s preliminary games determining who enters the quarterfinal games.
Bracket A includes the four “top teams” according to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rankings: the United States, Canada, Finland, and the O.A.R. The four teams in Bracket A are guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals with preliminary rounds acting as a way to seed the teams.
Bracket B includes the fifth ranked team from the IIHF – Sweden – as well as two spots earned through tournaments – Switzerland and Japan – and a team from the host country, South Korea.
For this year’s Games, Korea has chosen to expand their team roster to include players from both North and South Korea with the team playing under a united flag featuring both countries on it. Two members of the team, one from each country, carried the Olympic torch together during the opening ceremony to represent the countries’ stance on unity.
Sweden and Japan played the first women’s hockey game on Saturday, with Sweden winning 2 – 1. Switzerland then shut out the Korean team with a score of 8 – 0.
Sunday morning the United States played Finland. Despite trailing in the first quarter, Team USA came back to win 3 – 1. Canada also came out with a win beating the O.A.R. 5 – 0.
On Monday, Switzerland beat Japan 3 – 1, and Sweden won against Korea 8 – 0.
The preliminary games conclude today, with the United States playing Canada followed by the O.A.R. versus Finland.