Women’s hockey team faces 1st test as Day 6 begins

Canada’s women’s hockey team will have its first real battle on Wednesday, facing Sweden at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

The Canadian women opened the competition by beating Slovakia 18-0 in their first contest and followed that up with a 10-1 victory over the Swiss.

Sweden is also 2-0 in the preliminary round and the winner of the matchup with Canada will likely face a semi-final matchup with Finland.

Sweden’s players to watch include their “Chipmunk Line”, including Tina Enstrom, Cecilia Ostberg and Klara Myren, given the name because they are small and quick.

The three teenagers are dubbed to be the future of the women’s program and have five total points in their two games.

Some of Canada’s other action throughout the day will include another round of curling for the women.

Team Canada, led by Cheryl Bernard, will be looking to go 2-0 when they play Japan, coming off a 5-4 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday. 

Canada’s best chance at a medal on Wednesday may be in ladies’ downhill alpine skiing, where Emily Brydon will be trying to win one at home. The 29-year-old from Fernie, B.C., will be competing in her third Olympic Games. 

Also competing for Canada in the ladies’ downhill competition are Britt Janyk, Shona Kubens and Georgia Simmerling.

Other medal events for day six include:

  • Men’s halfpipe: Riders from the United States have dominated the podium in the past, and America’s Shaun White is the likely contender for a gold medal, but there are three Canadians in the lineup for this event. Jeff Batchelor is thought to have medal potential, and Brad Martin and Justin Lamoureux are likely top ten finishers. Canada’s best finish came at the 2002 Olympics, when Trevor Andrew placed ninth.
  • Ladies’ short track speed skating: Three Canadians will be looking to make it through the day to see the finals of this contest. Kalyna Roberge, Jessica Gregg and Marian St. Gelais will be competing in the ladies’ 500-metre competition. Roberge is unbeaten, nationally, and took home the silver medal from the 2006 Games. She also won the world title in 2007.
  • Men’s speed skating: Speed skaters took home 12 of the 24 Canadian medals in Turin, Italy at the last Olympics, and hope to continue their dominance at the Vancouver Games. Francois-Olivier Roberge, Jeremy Wotherspoon, Kyle Parrott and Denny Morrison will be competing in the 1000-metre race on Wednesday.  
  • Luge: CAN1 is slated to start first on Wednesday, with the team of Mike Moffat and Chris Moffat hoping to get through the first doubles’ run successfully. Canada’s second doubles team includes Tristan Walker and Justin Snith.
  • Ladies’ cross country skiing: Defending Olympic gold medalist, Chandra Crawford won skiing freestyle in 2006, but since the Olympics alternates styles every four years, will be skiing in the classic, slide-and-glide manner. Crawford is still working to regain her form after being absent from the 2008-2009 season because of leg injuries and surgeries. Canadian Sara Renner will also be competing in the individual sprint classic, which is a change of plans. Renner skipped the women’s 10-kilometre freestyle on Sunday in order to compete in the sprint.
  • Men’s cross country skiing: Devon Kershaw is the only Canadian male in the individual sprint classic, and is coming off a sub-par performance at the Canmore World Cup. In 2006, Kershaw was the first Canadian male cross-country skier to medal in a World Cup sprint event. No Canadian has ever medaled in this event at the Olympics.