It’s win or go home for the U.S. women’s hockey team at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Team USA begins elimination play with a quarterfinals matchup against the Czech Republic at Wukesong Sports Center. Puck drop is set for 11:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The U.S. rolled through its first three contests of Group A round-robin play, beating Finland, ROC and Switzerland by a combined score of 18-2. Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel were among the American standouts, while Nicole Hensley and Alex Cavallini each chipped in a shutout.
The team then met its match in a 2018 gold medal rematch against Canada with the neighbors to the north winning 4-2. Canada got out to a 1-0 start in the first period and outscored the U.S. 3-2 in a chaotic third period. Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens made 51 saves to stifle Team USA’s offensive attack.
With the result, Canada moved to 4-0 in round-robin action and earned the top spot in Group A. Team USA slid down to No. 2 and will now face the No. 2 team in Group B, the Czech Republic.
The Czech women’s hockey team is making its Olympic debut and went 2-1-1 in Group B play. The first two games ended in wins over China and Sweden, but the squad then fell to Denmark in regulation and Japan in a penalty shootout.
The winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal will play the winner of the Finland-Japan quarterfinal, which will take place at 3:40 a.m. ET on Saturday.