United Korean ice hockey team score first Olympic goal

  • The united Korean women’s ice hockey team have scored their first Olympic goal
  • American-born Randi Heesoon Griffin fired home in the team’s 4-1 loss to Japan
  • The goal sparked wild celebrations among fans at the Kwandong Hockey Centre 
  • North Korea’s female cheerleading delegation led the jubilation in the stands

Dan Burns, Reuters

and
Steve Keating

The united Korean women’s ice hockey team made history on Wednesday as they scored their first goal in Olympic competition against Japan.  

After 8-0 losses to both Switzerland and Sweden, American-born Randi Heesoon Griffin gave North Korea‘s ‘Army of Beauties’, an all-female cheerleading delegation, something to cheer as she fired into the net.

The goal sparked wild celebrations at the Kwandong Hockey Centre particularly from the North Korean fans, who celebrated the landmark goal until the end of the second period.

The united Korean women’s ice hockey team scored their first goal in Olympic competition

North Korea's all-female cheerleading delegation, 'Army of Beauties', had something to cheer

North Korea's all-female cheerleading delegation, 'Army of Beauties', had something to cheer

North Korea’s all-female cheerleading delegation, ‘Army of Beauties’, had something to cheer

Goals have been hard to come by for the Koreans who, until they found the net in the 4-1 defeat to Japan, had managed just 33 shots on target.

Griffin took a pass from Park Yoonjung and fought her way up the right wing before firing towards Japanese goaltender Akane Konishi with with the puck dribbling between her pads and in.

The Koreans had come close a few times before, particularly in the later periods of their second game against Sweden, but hadn’t been able to capitalise.

American-born Randi Heesoon Griffin was the scorer as she made history against Japan

American-born Randi Heesoon Griffin was the scorer as she made history against Japan

American-born Randi Heesoon Griffin was the scorer as she made history against Japan

Griffin  fought her way up the right wing before firing past Japan' Akane Konishi 

Griffin  fought her way up the right wing before firing past Japan' Akane Konishi 

Griffin fought her way up the right wing before firing past Japan’ Akane Konishi 

Goals had been hard to come  as the Koreans failed to score in both of their first two matches

Goals had been hard to come  as the Koreans failed to score in both of their first two matches

Goals had been hard to come as the Koreans failed to score in both of their first two matches

Despite losing the game 4-1, Korean fans were delighted at the Kwandong Hockey Centre

Despite losing the game 4-1, Korean fans were delighted at the Kwandong Hockey Centre

Despite losing the game 4-1, Korean fans were delighted at the Kwandong Hockey Centre

Japan opened the scoring just over a minute into the game when Hanae Kubo finished from close range following a pass from team mate Haruka Toko.

Around two minutes later, Shoko Ono then doubled Japan’s lead as she scored on the power play with Griffin in the penalty box for cross checking.

Japan’s Shiori Koike provided another goal late in the third period, and then Rui Ukita fired into an empty net to seal victory with just over a minute to play.

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