Two women’s hockey programs likely carrying very different mindsets into the 2014 Olympics face off at 3 a.m. ET as it’s Japan vs. Sweden.
From Sweden’s perspective, the program is attempting to rebound as it has slipped a bit in recent years. They remain the only nation other than the U.S. or Canada to finish with anything better than the bronze in the Olympics, as they grabbed silver in 2006. They hope to build back up to that level gradually.
On the other hand, Japan is a surprise entrant in the event. This is the country’s second all-time Olympic appearance in the event after 1998’s automatic bid. Speaking of which, Yonko Kondo bridges that gap, as the 35-year-old was on that team in Nagano.