stats Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


  This site         Tips

  The Web Google


  Where to Find It

Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business



Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store

Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business




  Arts & Entertainment



   Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Births & Deaths






  Facts & Arguments




  Real Estate









  Food & Dining




  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...


   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site



  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us



 Web Site

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


Despite loss, South Korean hockey team keeps up with Team Canada

Email this article Print this article
Monday, February 19, 2018 – Page B1

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA -- In North Korea, legend has it the late dictator Kim Jong-il once shot a 38-under-par round of golf and dropped anywhere between five and 11 holes in one, depending on which version of the story you hear out of the hermit kingdom. But in South Korea, the country's newly minted Olympic hockey team nearly engineered a sporting feat that might have seemed just as implausible to Canadians.

For more than half the game against Canada on Sunday, the South Korean team - a mixture of homegrown locals and North American journeymen playing on acquired passports - held the Canadians to a single goal. It was only the third Olympic game South Korea had ever played, after revamping its national program a few years ago.

And the South Koreans spent much of the contest within reach of an upset.

"They're a great team, we expected that," Canadian forward Eric O'Dell said. But what the Canadians didn't expect, he acknowledged, was that the game would stay so close for so long.

Though Canada went on to win handily, scoring three goals in the last 26 minutes to take the game 4-0, the South Koreans did enough to make Canada feel uncomfortable throughout. In the first and second periods, South Korea was a few bad bounces and Canadian miscues away from making hockey history and sending Canada into a panic about the state of our national game.

With no NHL players at these Olympics, the tournament is anything but a best-on-best affair. It is the rest on the rest, and the players Team Canada has assembled are still trying to figure out what type of team they are. After opening the tournament with a 5-1 win over the Swiss, Canada fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Czech Republic on Saturday. Their third and final game of the seeding round was supposed to be the easiest one by far.

But despite being outshot badly, South Korean goaltender and Southern Ontario transplant Matt Dalton kept the game close, facing 49 shots, compared with the 19 seen by Canada's Kevin Poulin.

The South Korean goalie admitted later the thought of an upset had definitely crossed his mind during the game.

"As the time keeps going, you're thinking about it, that's for sure," Dalton said.

He stopped 17 shots in the first period alone, including 10 in the first five minutes. Christian Thomas opened the scoring when he snapped a shot over Dalton's shoulder roughly eight minutes in.

"After the first period, I was trying to get some salt tablets or something, my legs were starting to cramp up," Dalton said.

Having fended off the early barrage, Korea managed to settle down, and Canada struggled to score, including a missed breakaway by Wojtek Wolski late in the period.

South Korea nearly tied the game in the second period while short-handed, then almost scored on a pair of passing plays when Canada left two South Korean shooters open.

Minutes later, a dump-in attempt took a bad bounce off the boards and ended up in front of an empty net with Poulin out to play the puck. Derek Roy cleared it away before the South Koreans could tie the game.

It was only after O'Dell caught a lucky bounce of his own, when Dalton misjudged a point shot and the puck ended up on the Canadian forward's stick at the side of the net with Dalton looking the other way, that Canada began to pull away.

"It was pretty easy, but I was still kind of gripping the stick a little tight there," O'Dell said.

"You don't want to miss that tap-in. But it was definitely nice to get it."

The games will get much tougher for Canada from here. Based on how the seeding round has finished, South Korea will now face Finland in a qualification playoff and the winner of that game will play Canada in the quarter-finals.

Assuming Finland advances, Canada's most likely route to the gold-medal game will be through Finland first, then likely Sweden, which has either the Swiss or the Germans to contend with in its quarterfinal.

After losing 8-0 to the Swiss the night before, the South Koreans had something to prove in front of a hometown crowd that cheered almost non-stop - for goals, for breakouts and for hits.

"I think they were just excited we got it out of the zone," Dalton said.

Before the game, the scoreboard in the Gangneung Hockey Centre instructed fans on the rules of hockey and played a short slide show on the history of the game, explaining that the oldest-known hockey stick was from Canada. At the end of the game, the South Korean players lined up on the ice and bowed to the fans - a tradition South Korean coach and former NHL player Chisun (Jim) Paek said was a show of respect. Moments later, the Canadian players skated around the ice saluting the Korean fans with their sticks in the air.

"It's special," Dalton said of being able to play Team Canada. He is one of seven players - six Canadians and one American - who were invited to join the South Korean national program to help grow hockey in the country. "If you asked me five years ago if I would be playing in the Olympics against Team Canada, I'd say you're crazy."

Though the Canadians have only been together as a complete squad for a few weeks, having been gathered from leagues around Europe and North America, coach Willie Desjardins has stressed game-by-game improvement for the team. Given the varied results of its first three games, it's difficult to tell exactly how Canada stacks up against the other expected gold-medal contenders, Sweden and Russia.

"We're playing hard," Poulin said. "It's lots of games in a short time, but we're focusing on one day at a time."

Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Drew_Fagan Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.


7-Day Site Search

Breaking News

Today's Weather


Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes

Where Manley is going with his first budget



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
Margaret Wente arrow
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game

Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
Mathew Ingram arrow
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
Andrew Willis arrow

Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
Eric Duhatschek arrow
Allan Maki arrow
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
 The Arts

John Doyle arrow
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
Johanna Schneller arrow

Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
Paul Knox arrow
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
William Thorsell arrow

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page