It wasn’t their easiest game of the tournament, but the United States’ women’s hockey team defeated the Czech Republic 4-1 on Friday in a quarterfinal matchup, guaranteeing that they will at least play for a medal in the Olympics.
Lee Stecklein scored the go-ahead goal in the third period of the game, and Savannah Harmon scored a critical insurance goal on a late power play as the Americans advanced to the semifinal, something that they’ve done in every Olympics since women’s hockey was added to the program in 1998.
In playing the first quarterfinal game, the United States will now have the chance to watch the remaining three matchups in the round, and now the question is, who will they face with a berth in the gold medal game on the line?
The Potential Opponents
The United States, having finished in second place in Group A, will get to play the winner of a Saturday game between Japan, who won Group B, and Finland, who finished in third place in Group A when they beat the Russian Olympic Committee in the final game of the preliminary round.
Team USA played Finland in the opening game of the Olympic tournament, beating them 5-2.
The United States and Japan have only played in the Olympics on one other occasion, with the Americans defeating the Japanese squad 10-0 during the 1998 Nagano Games.
The two women’s semifinal games are scheduled for 10:10 p.m. Central on Sunday and 7:10 a.m. on Monday, but it is unclear which contest the United States will compete in.