BEIJING — A trio of Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 Olympic women’s hockey tournament, while three others saw their Winter Games in Beijing come to a close Friday.
The United States defeated Czechia 4-1 and Canada rolled over Sweden 11-0 in the first two Olympic quarterfinals on Friday. The Russian Olympic Committee takes on Switzerland and Finland faces off with Japan in the other two quarterfinals on Saturday.
The U.S. trailed Czechia 1-0 for 48 seconds in the second period before Hilary Knight tied the game at 1-1. Lee Stecklein, Savannah Harmon and Kendall Coyne Schofield scored in the third with Stecklein getting the game-winner.
Alex Cavallini got the start in goal for Team USA over Minnesota Duluth’s Maddie Rooney, who was the U.S. backup Friday. Cavallini finished with five saves on six shots as the U.S. put 59 shots on goal.
Former Bulldog Katerina Mrazova, an alternate captain for Czechia, was kept off the scoresheet in the quarterfinals. She finished with a goal in what was her and her country’s first Olympic appearance.
Along with Mrazova, the Olympics also came to an end for a pair of Swedish Bulldogs in goaltender Emma Soderberg and forward Michelle Lowenhielm, the Swedish captain.
Soderberg posted a .951 save percentage and 1.77 goals against average in the preliminary round, but was shelled by the Canadians on Friday. She finished the final game of her first Olympics with 30 saves through two periods on 39 shots — four of the nine goals surrendered were on Canadian power plays — while Ida Boman took over in the third, stopping 15 of 17 shots.
Lowenhielm didn’t register a point for Sweden in what was her second Olympics.
Brianne Jenner and Sarah Fillier both had hat tricks for Canada while Canada’s two Bulldogs defensemen, Jocelyne Larocque and Ashton Bell, both had an assist. Bell now has five points (a goal and four assists) in five games.
Canada and the United States will play the other quarterfinal winners in the semifinals, which are scheduled for 10 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday (Duluth time). Looking to join Rooney, Bell and Laroque in the semis are former Bulldogs Lara Stalder of Switzerland, Alexandra Vafina of ROC and Eveliina Makinen of Finland.
Switzerland plays ROC at 10:10 p.m. Friday (Duluth time) and Finland takes on Japan at 2:40 a.m. Saturday.
The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team and UMD men’s captain Noah Cates takes on Canada at 10 p.m. Friday in Beijing.