Russians win in women’s hockey after quarantine at Olympics

Feb 3, 2022, 10:25 AM | Updated: Feb 4, 2022, 12:30 am
Russian Olympic Committee's Polina Bolgareva, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against Switzer...

Russian Olympic Committee's Polina Bolgareva, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against Switzerland during a preliminary round women's hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

BEIJING (AP) — The Russian women’s hockey team has gone from quarantine to an Olympic win in two days.

The Russians were in isolation in the Olympic Village from Monday to Wednesday and couldn’t train after one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks so far at the Beijing Games. It wasn’t an ideal situation ahead of its opening group game against Switzerland, but they still won 5-2.

“We came to the Olympics and we had to sit in our rooms without the opportunity to practice,” said Russian forward Alexandra Vafina, who had two assists. “It was hard but we got all together, we stayed positive and we took this little opportunity that we had.”

The United States and Canada each lost key players because of injury, but the Russians are worse hit with six of their original 23-player roster from last month now unavailable after virus positives, including captain Olga Sosina. Vafina said the team sent fun, supportive messages on a group chat to keep spirits up and ensure the replacement players who arrived later feel welcome.

Russia’s name and flag are banned from the Olympics in the fallout from years of doping disputes, so the team is playing as ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee. The ROC team only had 18 skaters and two goaltenders available for the game, while Switzerland had its full allowance of 23 players.

Switzerland had its own ordeal to overcome after collapsing in a 12-1 loss to Canada in its opening game, its biggest loss in Olympic play. The 2014 bronze medalists were aiming to build on a surprise 3-2 overtime win over the Russians in the quarterfinals of last year’s world championships and stayed with goalie Andrea Braendli after she faced 70 shots against Canada.

Twice the Russians took the lead but Switzerland tied it up both times before Anna Shibanova’s go-ahead goal in the second period. Polina Bolgareva had scored in the first period and added two more in the third.

CHINA WINS

China picked up its first Olympic victory since 2010 after beating first-time competitor Denmark 3-1 on two last-minute goals.

China had one of the first women’s teams to play Olympic hockey when the event was added in 1998 but declined following its third Olympic appearance in 2010 and hadn’t qualified since. It lost its opening game to the Czech Republic 3-1 on Thursday.

China is playing in Beijing with a team strengthened by experience of playing on a Chinese-run club in the Russian league and including naturalized players. Canada-born Leah Lum, playing in Beijing as Lin Qiqi, scored two goals and assisted California-born Rachel Llanes for another.

INJURY UPDATES

The United States will be without Brianna Decker for the rest of the Olympics after the forward injured her left leg in the tournament opener against Finland. Decker screamed in pain after being tripped from behind and was stretchered off the ice.

While the Americans know they will be without Decker the rest of the way, the other women’s hockey powerhouse faces injury uncertainty. Canada forward Melodie Daoust was injured when she was checked hard into the boards during the 12-1 rout of Switzerland. Hockey Canada has said only that Daoust was resting and being evaluated by medical personnel.

___

More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, left, taps gloves with Max Stassi at the end of ...
Associated Press

Mariners score 4 in 9th after Ohtani departs, top Angels 6-2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Angels star Shohei Ohtani struck out eight and allowed two runs in six innings, before the Seattle Mariners scored four runs in the ninth and took advantage of shoddy fielding to beat Los Angeles 6-2 on Monday night. Jesse Winker and J.P. Crawford each had two hits and two RBIs for […]
23 hours ago
San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria (10) celebrates with J.D. Davis (7) after hitting a two-run hom...
Associated Press

Longoria, Cobb power San Francisco to 6-1 over Diamondbacks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Alex Cobb pitched six solid innings to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night. The Giants are 18-2 at home against Arizona since the start of the 2020 season. San Francisco took control and broke […]
23 hours ago
Atlanta Braves' Michael Harris II (23) is put out at first base by New York Mets first baseman Pete...
Associated Press

Contreras, Rosario, Acuña lead Braves’ blowout win over Mets

ATLANTA (AP) — William Contreras and Eddie Rosario hit back-to-back homers off Carlos Carrasco in the second inning, Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled three times and drove in three runs, and the Atlanta Braves routed the New York Mets 13-1 Monday night for their seventh straight win. The second-place Braves moved within 4 1/2 games of […]
23 hours ago
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws during the first inning of a baseball game ...
Associated Press

Urías, Dodgers blank Brewers 4-0, continue 2nd-half surge

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Julio Urías continued his career-long pattern of shutting down lineups after the All-Star break. The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers hope he can stay hot all the way through the postseason. Freddie Freeman and Gavin Lux homered to back Urías’ five solid innings, and the Dodgers blanked the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 on […]
23 hours ago
Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Oakland Athletics sta...
Associated Press

Rangers win 3rd straight, top A’s 2-1 after Woodward firing

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Marcus Semien homered, rookie Bubba Thompson had a tiebreaking RBI single and the Texas Rangers won a one-run game only hours after manager Chris Woodward was fired. With Tony Beasley managing his first big league game, after being named the interim manager for the final 48 games of the season, the […]
23 hours ago
Chicago White Sox's Eloy Jimenez hits a two-run double during the eighth inning of the team's baseb...
Associated Press

Moncada, Cueto lead White Sox past Astros 4-2

CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Cueto kept going after a tough start — long enough for Yoán Moncada to deliver a big hit. Moncada lined a tiebreaking two-run single in Chicago’s four-run eighth inning, and the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win. Chicago (60-56) moved four games […]
23 hours ago
Russians win in women’s hockey after quarantine at Olympics