Canuck women’s hockey plays hard, but fair

The Canadian women’s hockey team has been in the media hotseat recently for its seemingly merciless performance in the Olympics in Torino, Italy. The team beat Russia in its opening game 12-0 while dominating in its games against Italy and Sweden, with final scores of 16-0 and 8-1, respectively.

With such significant leads, the team has been criticized for being relentless and persistent in racking up large scores. Many have said that the team should have eased up in order to allow the losing team to at least save face.

The way the tournament is structured, the team with the most points scored will be awarded home ice advantage and the last line change for the gold medal round. The Canadian team has defended that this home ice advantage is the reason they have not eased up in any of their games.

It is looking like a two-team race between Canada, who is in Group A and the U.S., who is in Group B and will be a definite threat to Canada’s Olympic gold aspirations. It makes sense that the Canadian women’s hockey team is trying to score as many goals as possible in order to gain home ice advantage, as any advantage would help in the final game. It does nothing for them to ease up and ease into bad habits before playing against the Americans.

It also hardly seems right for the Canadian team to make the conscious effort not to play as hard. If anything, it is an insult to the opposing team. At the Olympics, athletes who are identified as the best in their countries come to compete against equally talented opponents. They arrive knowing they will be challenged and if they were not prepared to face such challenges, they would not have come to the Games in the first place.

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