Sweden (2-3) found itself playing Korea (0-4) in the seventh-eighth place classification game. The home crowd made it an incredible atmosphere for a last place game.
Despite the loud pro-Korean crowd, Sweden walked away the winner. Sweden beat Korea 6-1 to finish seventh overall in the women’s tournament. It was a close game through the first two periods of the game, then Sweden’s offense took over.
Team Korea has looked a little better in each game it’s played. Tonight was no exception. Korea had an early test when they found themselves down two men just five minutes into the first period. They were able to kill the power play, but just 20 seconds after the penalty kill Sweden broke through for a score.
Sabina Kuller got ahead of Korea’s defense and was able to find the corner of the net with a powerful slap shot.
Korea didn’t stay down for long. Almost immediately after the goal, Johanna Fallman was penalized for elbowing giving Korea its first power play of the game. Less than a minute after Sweden scored, Korea was able to answer. Captain Han Soojin scored Korea’s second goal of the tournament.
Soojin received a beautiful pass from Park Jongah from behind the net. Soojn one-timed the pass from a difficult angle to tie the game at one.
With just 22 seconds to play in the first period, Emmy Alasalmi scored on a Sweden power play. Sweden’s pressure in front of the net was unrelenting as Korea couldn’t clear the puck. Alasalmi took advantage one-timing the puck from behind traffic.
It was an even-matched second period. However, Sweden was able to add to their lead tallying a goal in the 16th minute of the period. Sweden’s Emma Nordin and Fanny Rask put on a beautiful passing clinic down the ice. Rask finished with a back-handed pass to Erika Grahm who finished it and netted her first goal of the tournament. Rask would later tally her own goal, Sweden’s fifth of the game.
Sweden’s fourth goal originally looked like a bounce of the cross bar from a one-timer by Annie Swedin. Upon video review it was ruled a goal. Rask tallied the fifth goal for Sweden. The sixth goal came immediately following goalie change made out of compassion, by Korea’s coach, Sarah Murray, who was trying to make sure Han Dohee had a chance to play in the tournament.
Korea’s goalie for the entire tournament, Shin So Jung, had an outstanding tournament. She made 190 saves before the start of the game. She would ultimately finish with over 220 saves in the tournament.
Sweden’s Rask had a strong tournament despite not receiving a lot of playing time. Rask’s playing time is something her coach, Leif Boork, will have to evaluate as Sweden finishes a disappointing seventh in the tournament. Their lowest finish ever in an Olympic tournament.
Coach Murray’s tears after the game said it all as Korea received a standing ovation from the crowd. Even though Korea didn’t register a win, they can walk away from the tournament knowing they proved they belonged.