The joint Korean women’s ice hockey team had
their first and only practice match before the Olympics begins on Friday. And while Sunday night’s friendly against
Sweden didn’t end in victory — it was a decent result for a squad that’s only had a few days
to train together before playing one of the world’s best teams. Lee Ji-won has more. The joint Korean women’s ice hockey team took
to the rink together on Sunday for their first game, with the Winter Olympics only a matter
of days away. The Unification flag was raised instead of
South Korea’s national flag, the Taegeukgi,… and the Korean folk song Arirang filled the
rink in place of a national anthem. Playing against fifth-ranked Sweden,… Team Korea lost the friendly three-one. Though the head coach was only required to
include three North Korean players in the 22-woman roster,… four of the twelve North
Koreans who joined the squad were fielded in the game: three forwards and one in defense. One of Pyongyang’s best players, Jong Su-hyon
, even made it to the second line. And at a press conference right after the
game, Team Korea’s head coach said that there would be more chances like this, if the North
Korean players continue to train hard. “After watching the players practice, Su-hyon
actually made it to the second line. She sees the game well, she plays tough, she’s
fast. If they continue to work hard, continue to
learn our systems, I can see them staying in the second line.” While North Korea’s head coach Park Cheol-ho
and forward Jong Su-hyon were also at the press conference, they only mentioned their
determination for the upcoming games,… and left the table without answering any questions. “If the South and North Koreans come together
in every game and work harder and harder, I am sure that there will be a good result. Also, I hope the Games will be an opportunity
for Korea to show its power to the world.” With North Korean players showing their determination
to learn the systems, the South Korean players and the head coach rated North Korean players’
performances on Sunday highly. But there are still struggles ahead. “Like our coach said, the language is still
the major issue. During our games or our training, we say something
but the North Korean players don’t understand,… and it’s the same for us. But it’s something that’ll get better with
more training together.” After the game, the ice-hockey team left for
the Gangneung Olympic Village where they will live and train for the PyeongChang Winter
Olympics. Korea’s joint ice-hockey team have their first
game at the Winter Olympics on February 10th,… against Switzerland. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.

Korea’s joint women’s ice hockey team plays first match together
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One thought on “Korea’s joint women’s ice hockey team plays first match together

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:12 am
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    Disband the team and put the entire North Korean hockey team against women's US hockey team. It would give the North Koreans a good dose of reality.

    Reply

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