The United States women’s hockey team will play its second game of the Beijing Olympics Saturday, facing ROC in a preliminary round game, but without one of its best players.
Center Brianna Decker will be sidelined for the rest of the tournament after breaking her left leg when she went down awkwardly after getting tangled up with Finnish defenseman Ronja Savolainen behind the U.S. goal midway through the first period in Thursday’s 5-2 victory over Finland.
Defenseman Cayla Barnes, who was raised in Eastvale in northwestern Riverside County, assisted on the third U.S. goal against Finland.
As part of the penalty against Russia for the Russian government tampering with lab data that it provided to the World Anti-Doping Agency as a condition of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency being reinstated, Russia will compete under the acronym “ROC” in the Olympics after the name of the Russian Olympic Committee although the name of the committee itself in full cannot be used to refer to the delegation.
ROC opened Olympic play with a 5-2 victory over Switzerland Friday.
The U.S. defeated ROC, 6-0, in a preliminary round game in the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship. The U.S. is 2-0-0-0 against ROC in Olympic play, winning 13-0 in 2010 and 5-0 in 2018.
Russia has never won a medal in women’s Olympic hockey while the U.S. has medaled in every Olympics since the sport was added to the program in 1998, including gold medals in 1998 and 2018.
The U.S., ROC and the three other Group A teams will all advance to the quarterfinals along with the top three teams in the five-team Group B.
The game is set to begin at 5:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and will be televised by USA Network.