The preliminary rounds of the men's ice hockey tournament are set to wrap up Sunday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with the women's tournament getting play started in the fifth-round bracket.
Many eyes were on Canada's clash with South Korea. A win for Canada would mean advancing to the quarterfinals as the top second-place finisher. A loss, however, would leave the Canadians with a much tougher road to winning their third straight Olympic gold.
Below are the results from Sunday's games.
Germany Beats Norway 2-1
Germany earned its first victory of the 2018 Olympics after beating Norway in a shootout.
Danny aus den Birken was big for the Germans. Not only did he make 28 saves during regulation, but he also stonewalled Norway's Alexander Reichenberg and Mathis Olimb in the shootout.
"Even to have an interview at the Olympics is awesome," the 33-year-old goaltender said after the game, per the Associated Press (via NBCOlympics.com). "Everything I do here is just great."
Patrick Hager drew first blood for Germany on the power play in the second period before Reichenberg tied the game in the third.
Norway's finishing touch was seriously lacking in the shootout. In addition to Aus den Birken's two saves, Anders Bastiansen missed the team's first shot off the post. Hager, Matthias Plachta and Dominik Kahun, meanwhile, all scored for Germany.
Czech Republic Beats Switzerland 4-1
The Czech Republic locked up first place in Group A.
The final score belies how close this game was. The teams remained tied heading into the final period after Michal Repik got the Czech Republic on the board and Thomas Rufenacht leveled the score later in the opening frame.
The Czechs then exploded with three goals in the third period, the final two of which came after Switzerland pulled goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Dominik Kubalik gave the Czech Republic the lead 3:02 into the third period, and the pair of Repik and Roman Cervenka added two insurance goals inside the final two minutes.
Canada Beats South Korea 4-0
Canada rolled over host South Korea, securing a quarterfinal berth. Christian Thomas, Eric O'Dell, Maxim Lapierre and Gilbert Brule all scored for Canada.
TSN's Dan O'Toole noted South Korea had a clear home-ice advantage inside the Gangneung Hockey Centre:
However, that wasn't enough to give South Korea what would've been its first win of the tournament.
While the team scored four goals, the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley wasn't impressed by Canada's overall performance:
After two periods, Canada led 2-0. Lapierre gave the Canadians a three-goal lead 3:43 into the third period before Brule's power-play tally with 1:58 remaining.
One could argue Canada should've put more past South Korea goaltender Matt Dalton based on its shot total (49). Still, scoring four goals and keeping a shutout in the Olympics is a good result any way you shake it out.
As long as Canada reclaims gold, few will remember how the team played in the preliminary round.
Sweden Beats Finland 3-1
Sweden earned first place in Group C after beating Finland.
The game remained tied entering the third period. Anton Lander got Sweden on the board first at the 14:53 mark of the opening period, and Joonas Kemppainen answered back for Finland in the second.
Patrik Zackrisson put the Swedes ahead 8:53 into the third period before Oscar Moller scored an insurance goal in the final minute after Finland pulled goalie Mikko Koskinen.
In what's likely to continue to be a contentious issue for coach Rikard Gronborg, Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin was a healthy scratch. Despite being one of the top prospects in the 2018 NHL draft, Dahlin has seen limited minutes in the 2018 Olympics.
Switzerland Beats Korea 2-0
Switzerland will play for fifth place after beating Korea.
Korea was somewhat fortunate to lose by only two goals, considering Switzerland owned a 53-19 advantage in shots on goal. In the first period alone, the Swiss had as many shots as Korea did over the entire game.
The Associated Press' Teresa Walker thought Korea goaltender Shin So Jung was single-handedly keeping the unified Korean team in the game:
Ultimately, Shin's heroics couldn't alter the outcome. Sabrina Zollinger scored first for Switzerland to put the team ahead 16:35 into the first period, and Evelina Raselli added a second at the 38:52 mark of the second.
Japan Beats Sweden 2-1
Japan will meet Switzerland in the fifth-place game, as Ayaka Toko scored the winner in the fourth minute of overtime.
The result represented a measure of revenge for Japan, which lost 2-1 to Sweden in the opening game of the preliminary round.
Shiori Koike and Lisa Johansson exchanged second-period goals to keep the score tied.
Both goaltenders—Nana Fujimoto for Japan and Sara Grahn for Sweden—performed well, with the former stepping up in the third period to prevent Sweden from taking the lead. Fujimoto reacted quickly to get a pad on Johanna Olofsson's shot.
By beating Sweden, Japan now has an opportunity to register its highest-ever finish in women's ice hockey at the Olympics. The Japanese placed sixth at the inaugural women's tournament in 1998 and then seventh in a return trip at the 2014 Winter Olympics.