While the United States Women Hockey was favored by most to advance to the Gold Medal Round, they did so in convincing fashion with a 6-1 blowout win over Team Sweden. At no point did Sweden really have a chance in this game, and the final shot total of 70-9 (yes, you read that right) reflects how truly lopsided the victory was.
Within the first eleven minutes, the United States was already up 3-0, on goals from Carpenter, Bellamy, and Kessel. Lamoureux and Bozek made it 5-0 by the mid-way point of the second period. Anna Borgqvist scored Sweden’s only goal mid-way through the third period. Briana Decker scored Team USA’s final goal three minutes later.
Unfortunately, the win may have served to rustle up the argument that Women’s Hockey is not competitive enough and should be dropped from the Olympics. The United States and Canada have controlled the play for the majority of their games and have been destined for the gold medal match from the start. Only Switzerland stands in Team Canada’s way, and the Canadians are obviously heavily favored in that match up.
The calls to remove Women’s Hockey are non-nonsensical. Why should an entire sport be punished for the North American program being further ahead than the rest of the world? This is no different than the early days of Men’s International Hockey when Canada and Russia were the two main powerhouses. Women’s Hockey needs time to grow and eventually the quality of competition and competitiveness will improve.
Team USA will face the winner of Canada and Switzerland in the Gold Medal match. Team Sweden will compete against the loser in the Bronze Medal match.