No mercy--or mercy rule in women's hockey
Goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova got off to a great start against defending champion Canada Saturday with an array of acrobatic saves in the first minute of her country's Olympic debut.
Unfortunately, the Slovakians had to play 59 more minutes before the heavily pro-Canadian crowd at Canada Hockey Place, better known during non-Olympic games as GM Place.
As the game passed the midway point Canada hit double figures in goals, building a 12-0 lead. Nine Canadian players each had one goal and Meghan Agosta had three.
And Tomcikova, a sophomore at Bemidji State in Minnesota, wasn't playing badly.
As bad as this might get--and Canada had every incentive to keep pushing, because goal differential is a tiebreaker in determining placement if two teams are equal in points--it's still not as bad as the rout Slovakia inflicted on Bulgaria in an Olympic qualifying game in September, 2008.
The score of that one was Slovakia 82, Bulgaria 0.
A mercy rule is worth considering.
-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver
Photo: Slovakia goalie Zuzana Tomcikova tries to guard the net against Canada. Credit: Larry W. Smith, r, Canada, 13 February 2010. EPA/Larry W Smith