UMD women's hockey: Three Bulldogs advance, three ousted following USA, Canada wins in Olympic quarterfinals

Emma Soderberg's Olympic debut comes to an unceremonial close after Canada overruns Sweden.

Ice Hockey - Women's Play-offs Quarterfinals - Canada v Sweden
Emma Soderberg of Sweden in action during the 2022 Beijing Olympics at Wukesong Sports Centre in Beijing, China on February 11, 2022.
Song Yanhua / Pool via Reuters

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.

While the UMD coaching staff may be sacrificing some sleep to watch the 2022 Olympic women's hockey tournament in Beijing, Bulldogs players are staying well-rested for the final weeks of WCHA play in 2021-22.

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.


Ice Hockey - Women's Play-offs Quarterfinals - United States v Czech Republic
Katerina Mrazova of Czech Republic and Klara Peslarova of Czech Republic during a break in play at the 2022 Olympics at Wukesong Sports Centre in Beijing, China on February 11, 2022.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

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.

Ice Hockey - Women's Play-offs Quarterfinals - Canada v Sweden
Sara Hjalmarsson of Sweden in action with Jocelyne Larocque of Canada during the 2022 Olympics at Wukesong Sports Centre in Beijing, China on February 11, 2022.
Brian Snyder / Reuters

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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