Posted February. 24, 2017 07:14,
Updated February. 24, 2017 07:20
“'Until the East Sea's waters and Baekdu Mountain are dry and worn away, God protects and helps us.”
The national anthem of Korea rang out from the Tsukisamu Gymnasium on Thursday after women’s ice hockey game between Korea and China at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo. Korean players won 3-2 over China after a close game of which winner was decided in the shootout and they calmly celebrate their victory. As they entered the locker room, however, players hugged each other and shed tears of joy.
After games of international ice hockey competitions, the national anthem of the winning team for the day is played. It is the second time that the national anthem of Korea is played for Korean female ice hockey team. The first time was last Saturday when they romped to a 20-0 win against Thailand. However, listening the national anthem after crossing the Great wall of China was joy beyond compare.
The Korean women’s hockey team met China seven times and they lost every game. They lost games heavily at the 2007 Asian Winter Games in Changchun and the Asian Winter Games in Astana-Almaty with a score of 0-20 and 0-10, respectively. The victory was all the more precious to Shin So-jeong (27), stout goaltender of the team. She failed to score a goal and keep goal, allowing Chinese players to score 30 points in previous two matches.
Shin has improved a lot over the past few years and her excellent blocking kept China from scoring during the game. Even in the shoot-out, she was a crucial player behind the victory by making great saves for 10th shooting of China. She was the first female player who played in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the first division league as well as advanced to the National Women’s Hockey League in last August.
“We lost big against China in major competitions every time. I am very happy as this game was ended with our great victory for the first time ever.” Korea fell to Kazakhstan to suffer its second loss with 1 win and 1 win in overtime (5 points) and it is virtually impossible to win a medal regardless of remaining games.
Main players are mostly from outside including Han Su-jin, who majored in piano at university, Koh Hye-in, former short track speed skating player, Park Eun-jung (Caroline Park), graduate school student at Columbia University Medical Center, and Park Jong-ah, who went to Canada for training. They were grouped as a team several years ago and their skills were greatly improved, sufficient enough to expect good records at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. In particular, Park Jong-ah and Park Eun-jung scored the equalizer in the first and second period, for each. Also, Park Jong-ah, who was the 10th shooter, scored a winning goal.