Flyers need to learn the right lessons from 2021-22 meltdown

Flyers need to learn the right lessons from 2021-22 meltdown
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

PHT’s “What Went Wrong?” series asks that question about teams who’ve been eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Why did this team fall short, and how surprising was that fall? Are there signs that things might go right next season? This series tackles those questions, and more. In the latest edition of “What Went Wrong?,” PHT breaks down the 2021-22 Philadelphia Flyers.

The Philadelphia Flyers weren’t alone in suffering through an awful 2021-22 season. That’s basically what this “What When Wrong?” series is all about.

So, they’re not the only team with problems. The uncomfortable thing about the Flyers, though, is that they don’t seem to be reacting to the failures of 2021-22 in the most promising ways.

They’re not pulling off the Band-Aid and rebuilding like the Ducks. Instead, it feels more like the Flyers view the 2021-22 season as more of a hiccup or blip. While the message can change, Chuck Fletcher and others pointed toward a plan to “aggressively re-tool,” implying a push for a playoff berth next season.

Is that a wise direction after an astoundingly bad 2021-22 season for the Flyers? And, if there’s truly a lane for this to work out, is Chuck Fletcher really the person to guide Philly out of this mess?

Because, make no mistake about it, this was a disaster. And the early signs point to Fletcher doubling down on some of the decisions that doomed the Flyers in 2021-22.

Selective accountability

When Mike Yeo and the Flyers ended Keith Yandle‘s ironman streak with the whimper that is a healthy scratch, it felt tacky. It’s one thing if allowing Yandle to approach 1,000 games played in a row threatened a playoff berth. Instead, the Flyers scratched Yandle long after any playoff hopes were up in smoke.

Now, sure, there’s the argument that playing in the NHL is a right, not a privilege. But it doesn’t exactly feel like accountability gets doled out in fair portions.

Let’s be honest. At this point, Mike Yeo and Chuck Fletcher resemble the management equivalents to fringe NHL players. Even with an interim tag, it was jarring to see Mike Yeo as an NHL head coach again after rarely ascending above the level of “meh.”

And if Chuck Fletcher isn’t merely replacement level as a GM, shouldn’t we have seen something more promising by now? Between his Wild and Flyers runs, he’s been an NHL GM since May 2009.

In that time, his most memorable moves have mostly blown up in his face in ways that evoke Wile E. Coyote. His signature blunder was signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to matching 13-year contracts at $98 million apiece. But Fletcher’s taken many big swings over the years, and he’s largely struck out.

You can gain some entertainment thumbing through Fletcher blunders like people used to leaf through bargain bin CDs at record stores. “OK, sure, the case is cracked, but this greatest hits collection has Thomas Vanek’s eventual buyout.”

It would be one thing if those big whiffs were just from the Wild days. Really, it would be refreshing if he learned hard lessons, and nailed his second chance. Unfortunately, it seems like he’s just piling up mistakes.

Look at how the Flyers perceive Rasmus Ristolainen alone, and Fletcher’s stacked investments nearly to the defenseman’s towering height.

Chuck Fletcher’s big offseason gambles went bust

To be fair, not every error evoked a chorus of agonized groans.

When it came to trading for Ryan Ellis, there were obvious risks. He really wasn’t healthy in 2020-21. But there are worse gambles than hoping that Ellis could find his Norris-range-form from a year before.

Whether you chalk it up to bad luck, excessive optimism from medical staffers, or a lack of due diligence, the bottom line is that Ryan Ellis only played four games for the Flyers in 2021-22.

And there really aren’t a lot of excuses for the staggering amount of resources the Flyers sunk into Rasmus Ristolainen. Here’s the quick version.

  • It cost the Flyers a first-round pick, a second-rounder, and Robert Hagg to trade for Rasmus Ristolainen.
  • They also gave up a second-rounder to clear room for Ristolainen by trading Shayne Gostisbehere.
  • Somewhere, you can probably debate Gostisbehere vs. Ristolainen until your face turns blue. But it can’t feel great to ponder the possibility that Gostisbehere was Ristolainen’s equal, or maybe even a bit better, this season.

Don’t take more of the wrong lessons from 2021-22 – or – Flyers should not trade Travis

While it feels unlikely, there’s the chance that the Flyers end up looking smart with their copious investments in Ristolainen. Stranger things have happened. Defensemen can sometimes be tricky to judge.

Again, though, I’d say it’s more realistic that the Flyers fell in love with the idea of Ristolainen. Maybe they were preoccupied with style over results.

Two things are clear:

  1. The Flyers deflected criticisms of Ristolainen’s often-terrible underlying results. In other words, they ignored “the nerds.”
  2. Right or wrong, the Ristolainen extension happened.

Not ideal, but the Flyers can still show that they’re not taking all the wrong lessons from 2021-22. Maybe they just need a simple mantra.

Don’t trade Travis.

Amusingly enough, Fletcher could restore some faith (from me, at least) if he didn’t trade Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny during the offseason.

In the case of Travis Sanheim, it’s simple. He’s the sort of defenseman the Flyers are tearing a quad to try to get. He’s steady, underrated, and in his prime. Frankly, if perceptions are low on Travis Sanheim, the Flyers might even be able to sign him to a team-friendly extension this summer. They might just ink him before people catch on that the 26-year-old is a hidden gem.

The advice with Travis Konecny is more nuanced. If they’re determined to trade Konecny, fine. But don’t do it now, when his stock is basically at an all-time low.

You see it time and time again. Less-savvy teams sour on a player, trade them for pennies on the dollar, and then everyone has a good laugh on Twitter. Sometimes you can see it coming from a mile away with a talented player whose shooting percentage goes cold.

The Oilers turning Jordan Eberle into Ryan Strome and then Ryan Spooner is a textbook example of such short-sighted blunders.

[What Went Wrong for the Devils this season]

This season, Travis Konecny’s shooting percentage is 6.8%, by far the lowest of his career. It’s almost half of his career average of 11.6-percent. All things considered, his offensive output (13 goals and 45 points in 71 games) could be worse.

For a time, Konecny looked like a star in the making. Now, it feels like he’s dangling on the edge of a trade where the Flyers would sell low.

Is Konecny perfect? No.

Just look at how perceptions can change. Last offseason, the Blues couldn’t find someone to trade for Vladimir Tarasenko. Now, he’s enjoying one of the best seasons of his career.

If Konecny has to (eventually) go, why not let him rebuild his reputation?

The 2021-22 Flyers didn’t look like a team just an offseason away from contending

So, the Flyers should keep calm about certain elements of the 2021-22 season. Yet, the calls for a rebuild weren’t outrageous: this Flyers team was very, very bad.

When you glance at the 2021-22 Flyers using Evolving Hockey’s Team RAPM charts, there’s not much to do except noting where they were bad vs. even worse.

It’s not as though you can just pass this off as a strange fluke.

From 2012-13 through 2019-20, the Flyers rotated seasons where they missed and made the playoffs. During that time, they only won playoff series during one run, and that was the oddball 2019-20 bubble season.

Now it will be two straight seasons where they missed the playoffs, and this time, it wasn’t close. In 2021-22, the Flyers clearly ranked as one of the worst teams in the NHL.

[PHT’s Power Rankings]

How much can that change with coaching? Fletcher’s the person who chose Alain Vigneault, and this isn’t the first time he’s leaned on Mike Yeo. Are we anymore confident Fletcher will choose the right coach than we are that he’ll ace free agency?

Ignore the numbers and the season for a minute. Instead, scroll their team page at Cap Friendly. There are some solid players, sure, and one could picture rebounds/better health from Ellis, Hayes, and so on. Maybe Carter Hart goes on a heater next season.

Really, though, is there much there to make you think the Flyers are an offseason — even a splashy, bold one that evokes the days of Iya Bryzgalov … only successful this time — away from turning this around?

They already burned a great opportunity to speed up what should obviously be a rebuild with their trade deadline decisions. The uncomfortable truth is that the 2021-22 season and larger outlook continue to gesture toward the obvious need for a Flyers rebuild.

If the Flyers truly don’t have a stomach for that, then they better hope that this situation is a lot better than it looks.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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    Canada takes down U.S., reclaims women’s Olympic hockey gold

    canada u.s. women's
    ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Image

    Just about every true hockey fan predicted the United States and Canada would meet in the women’s hockey gold medal game again at the 2022 Winter Olympics. As fate would have it, that’s exactly what happened. The two fierce rivals faced off for the title for the sixth time in the last seven Olympics late Wednesday night, and after falling to the U.S. in the gold medal game in PyeongChang, the Canadians reclaimed the gold this time around with a 3-2 victory against the Americans.

    Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin was a force throughout the final. She netted two goals and added an assist in the tilt, giving her 17 points through seven contests at the Winter Games. Poulin is the top women’s hockey player in the world, and she played like it against the Americans.

    With her pair of goals, Poulin became the first player in Olympic history, male or female, to score in four gold medal games.

    “It was a group effort,” she said after the game. “It was line after line, put pressure (on), and we put it in when it was the right time.”

    The Canadians came out fast and furious to start the tilt. Natalie Spooner appeared to net the game’s first goal early in the opening frame, but the marker was taken off the board after a review deemed the goal was offside. However, Sarah Nurse broke the ice just seconds after the disallowed goal with a redirection of a Claire Thompson point shot off the draw. With her tally, Nurse set the all-time record for points in a single Olympic tournament with 18 (five goals, 13 assists).

    “That was the longest game of hockey I’ve ever played,” said Nurse, who is now the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in hockey. “Waking up this morning, we knew that we were gonna finish this game with a gold medal. We just stuck to our plan, stuck to our process.”

    “This is a dream come true.”

    Poulin doubled her squad’s lead with her first marker not long after Nurse opened the scoring, capitalizing on a U.S. defensive-zone turnover and beating American goaltender Alex Cavallini, who appeared to have lost track of the puck. She later netted her second goal of the game in the middle period after burying a juicy rebound off the pad of Cavallini, putting the U.S. in a 3-0 hole.

    The Americans finally scored their first goal of the game late in the second period when Hilary Knight (who else?) slid a rebound past Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush. Knight’s tally briefly swung momentum in the U.S.’s favor, but the temporary shot of adrenaline wasn’t enough to narrow the gap.

    Amanda Kessel got the U.S. within one goal of Canada with a garbage-time tally on a 6-on-4 advantage in the game’s waning seconds, but at that point it was too little too late. The Canadians drained the last 12 seconds of the game with ease, and the celebration soon followed.

    Despite Kessel’s marker on the advantage, the U.S. power play was downright dreadful in the title game and, frankly, throughout the entire tournament. The Americans managed just seven power-play tallies on 29 opportunities at the Games — an abysmal output with the amount of talent on the U.S. roster. The loss of Brianna Decker in the tournament opener certainly didn’t do the power play any favors.

    The U.S. came up short in more areas than just the power play, though. They also missed several quality scoring chances that could have greatly influenced the contest’s outcome. Just after the game’s two-minute mark, Hannah Brandt missed a wide-open net that would have given the U.S. an early lead. Early in the third period, Alex Carpenter hit the post with Desbiens in complete disarray as chaos erupted all around her.

    The Americans ended up outshooting Canada 40-21 in the contest, but without converting on their scoring opportunities, the shot differential was inconsequential.

    “I don’t think we played up to our potential so that’s sort of the bittersweet part of it,” said Knight. “We’re a great team, but at the end of the day the score didn’t show that. Hopefully you take this and you stay hungry and for some of the younger kids in that room, come back with a vengeance or a chip on their shoulder to do better and to do more.”

    “I love this group entirely and it’s always a special moment when you can represent your country on a world stage.”

    With the victory, the Canadians now have five of the seven gold medals awarded for women’s hockey at the Olympics.

    Canada is back on top of the women’s hockey world, and the U.S. is going back to the drawing board as veterans Knight, Decker and Kendall Coyne Schofield consider their Olympic futures.

    For Knight, who’s 32, it’s a bit too early to start thinking about 2026.

    “I don’t know,” she said when asked if she’ll be back for Milano Cortina. “The level of dedication that you have to have in this program and this team is — every single decision you make, it’s a lot. It’s not something I can commit to right now.”

    “I like to win, so we’ll see.”

    Click here to view all the stats from Canada’s win over the United States, and click here to watch the full event replay from start to finish.

    U.S., Canada women set for another classic Olympic gold-medal final

    u.s. canada women
    Getty Images

    There’s one game left for both the U.S. and Canada women’s hockey teams (Weds., 11 p.m. ET; NBC, Peacock) and the prize at the end of their Olympic journey is a gold medal.

    That’s nothing new for these two countries. In the six tournaments since women’s hockey was introduced at the Olympics, the U.S. and Canada have met for gold five times — now six. Canada has come out on top four times (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), while the Americans won the first edition (1998) and the last (2018).

    It was Jocelyne Lamoreaux-Davidson’s “Oops, I did it again” shootout move that gave the U.S. the gold medal in a shootout in PyeongChang four years ago. It’s a loss still doesn’t sit well with Canada.

    “In all honesty, it was very anti-climactic for us to lose in a shootout, because it didn’t feel as if you lost a game,” said Canada forward Sarah Nurse, whose 16 points leads the tournament. “It almost felt like unfinished business. So going into this gold-medal game, regardless of who we play, we’re here to finish business and win a hockey game.”

    [2022 Beijing Olympics: Medal count / Schedule / Hockey coverage]

    These two teams played each other eight days ago with Canada coming out on top 4-2. It was in that game the U.S. dominated the shot counter (53-27) but they failed to challenge goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens.

    Through six games, the U.S. is fifth in goals with 28 and first in shots with 334 shots.

    “I just feel really good about how we match up against Canada,” said U.S. head coach Joel Johnson. “I think if we can generate a few more scoring chances and make some plays, then that would hopefully be our best game.”

    “You just have to keep going. That happens sometimes. Over the course of seven games not every chance is going to go in or you hit a little rut,” said U.S. forward Amanda Kessel. “I think that if we keep doing what we’re doing the floodgates are going to open.”

    No love lost

    How does U.S. forward Hilary Knight describe the rivalry with Canada?

    “It’s wonderful hockey, it’s the most beautiful rivalry in sport,” Knight said. “It gets the best and the worst out of both of us at the same time. It’s a wonderful game.”

    There’s plenty of hate between the teams. They both know they are the best in the women’s game and both have expectations to win every game and tournament they participate in.

    “Every time we go against them, we want to make a statement and show them that they don’t belong on the ice with us,” said Canada forward Natalie Spooner.

    Next Tuesday marks the four-year anniversary of the U.S. gold medal win in PyeongChang. The road to Beijing and this gold medal game began that night at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Canada vowed to avenge the defeat while the Americans, once they were done celebrating, were already thinking about a defense.

    Four years later, we’re here and it’s the U.S. and Canada for gold. Again.

    “These are the the games that we live for,” U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schofield. “Everyone’s been so resilient through the pandemic with the ups and downs, the cancellations, postponements and finding ways to train, and it’s for this moment. We’re going to empty the tanks, and this is what we came here to do.”

    Women’s Olympic gold medal history

    1998 Nagano USA, 3-1
    2002 Salt Lake City Canada, 3-2
    2010 Vancouver Canada, 2-0
    2014 Sochi Canada, 3-2 (OT)
    2018 PyeongChang USA, 3-2 (SO)

    Puck drop for the gold medal game between the U.S. and Canada is set for Wednesday night at 11 p.m. ET. The game can be streamed on, the NBC Sports app and Peacock, and it will be televised nationally on NBC.

    On the call for the gold medal game is Kenny Albert (play-by-play), A.J. Mleczko (analyst), Angela Ruggiero (studio analyst) and Leila Rahimi (reporter in Beijing).

    Canada’s women’s hockey reinvents itself after Olympic loss

    canada women's olympic hockey
    Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    BEIJING — The Canadians just finished making brisk work of Sweden in the quarterfinal round of the women’s Olympic hockey tournament, and yet coach Troy Ryan wasn’t prepared to assess just how dominant his team can be.

    A better time to ask might be Thursday, when the gold medal is awarded.

    The Canadians are now considered the favorites, having raised the bar of the women’s game with a dynamic and relentless, four-line transition attack that has outscored opponents by a combined 44-5 at the Beijing Games.

    It’ll take a little more to impress Ryan.

    “Honestly, we keep things pretty simple in our minds,” said Ryan on Friday, following an 11-0 win over Sweden in which Canada scored five times on six shots during a second-period span of 7:25. “I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel at all.”

    Perhaps not.

    But the Canadians, in three-plus years under Ryan, are reinventing themselves following the lowest points in their proud history.

    The downturn began with a gold-medal loss to arch-rival United States at the 2018 Winter Games, which ended Canada’s run of four Olympic championships. The following year, the Canadians settled for bronze in failing to reach the world championship final for the first time in tournament history.

    The losses led to Ryan and his staff transforming what had been both a stale team culture and style of play.

    They made the game fun again by placing a focus on speed and transition to increase offense and complement the strengths of the ultra-talented pool Canada draws from. And with that, came an emphasis on not being afraid of making mistakes.

    “We’ve got to be OK with the mistakes, because one of the things we talked about was how do you improve your game if you don’t leave a little room for error?” he said.

    The change paid off at the world championships in August, when Canada’s 3-2 overtime win over the U.S. in the title game ended the Americans’ run of five tournament titles.

    Ryan’s strategy centers on using Canada’s play-making defenders to exit the zone as quickly as possible — accepting the risk of turnovers to keep opponents on their heels.

    “I think we had become a little robotic in the way we played,” said Natalie Spooner, who leads the tournament with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists). “The quicker we play on defense, the quicker we get the puck out, let’s us play offense and let’s us do our thing.”

    Canada will face Switzerland, and the U.S, coming off a 4-1 quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic, will play Finland in the semifinals on Monday. Both games are preliminary round rematches after Canada defeated the Swiss 12-1, and the Americans beat Finland 5-2.

    Finland advanced with a 7-1 win over Japan on Saturday, with Petra Nieminen scoring three goals and adding two assists. In Switzerland’s 4-2 win over the Russian Olympic Committee, Alina Muller converted Lara Stalder’s pass on a 2-on-1 break to score the go-ahead goal with 2:37 remaining in regulation and then added an empty-netter.

    Swiss coach Colin Muller sees a significant jump in Canada’s game since the world championships.

    “It’s ridiculous. I think Canadians and the U.S. have stepped up their game, but for me at the moment, Canada, maybe more,” Muller said. “It’s a different animal than what I even saw in August. And when I compare back two years ago and three years ago and that 2019 worlds, it’s a different team.”

    The Canadians have dialed it up a notch after a four-month leadup of practices and games that allowed them to polish their chemistry.

    Canada leads the tournament in scoring efficiency with 44 goals on just 250 shots, and power-play efficiency in converting 10 of 20 chances. Canada’s 4-2 win over the U.S. last week matched the most the team has ever scored against its cross-border foes in Olympic play.

    Meanwhile, Canadians Brianne Jenner and newcomer Sarah Fillier are tied for the tournament lead with eight goals each, one short of matching an Olympic record set by Canada’s Meghan Agosta and Switzerland’s Stephanie Marty at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

    “Being able to score as many goals as we have, and scored in so many different ways really gives us confidence,” forward Blayre Turnbull said. “Some of us definitely played a bit more of an uptight game where we were gripping our stick and just thinking about mistakes. We’ve done a big 180 as a program.”

    The change is night and day for goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens, who actually quit playing hockey after 2018 because she no longer enjoyed it. She attended Wisconsin to get her master’s degree in accounting, where Desbiens doubled as a goalie coach for the Badgers women’s team.

    Coaching and the change in Canada’s culture lured her back.

    “I think you see the fruits by seeing all the smiles on the ice,” said Desbiens, who has allowed four goals on 97 shots in three games. “Troy’s done a good job of creating a safe environment and making sure that all the players can play to their best ability and not have to hold on to their sticks too tight.”

    U.S. shots aren’t turning into goals in Olympic women’s hockey

    us women olympic
    Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    BEIJING — Hilary Knight would like to have a word with one of her former coaches, who placed an emphasis on getting shots on net.

    Ultimately, the four-time U.S. Olympian said, it comes down to quality over quantity.

    “There’s different types of opportunities, right?” Knight said following a 4-2 loss to Canada on Tuesday to close the Olympic women’s hockey preliminary round, in which the Americans had a 53-27 edge in shots.

    “We had a coach who said, ’Get 60 shots on net and you’re going to win the game,” she said. “It really doesn’t work that way at this level.”

    The Americans received a reminder of that when their five-game Olympic winning streak dating to a 2-1 loss to Canada in the preliminary round of the 2018 Winter Games was snapped.

    They now have work to do to generate more offense if they intend to defend their Olympic title in what is expected to be a rematch against Canada in the gold-medal game. By finishing second in the Group A standings, the U.S. (3-1) can begin honing its scoring approach starting with a quarterfinal matchup Thursday (11:10 p.m. ET on USA Network, Peacockagainst Czechia, a Winter Games newcomer.

    “I’m glad to hit the reset button and focus on a different opponent,” coach Joel Johnson said. “And if we see Canada again, great. We hope it’s an opportunity to win.”

    The focus is on finishing, especially after the U.S. also had scoring issues, with five goals on 62 shots, while shutting out the Russian team on Saturday.

    [2022 Olympic Women’s Hockey Guide: Full schedule, Team USA roster for Beijing Winter Games]

    “We generated a bunch of offense, but that offense didn’t create enough high-quality scoring chances,” Johnson said. “Shots on net don’t win hockey games, goals do.”

    Through four games, the U.S. ranks fourth of 10 teams in scoring efficiency, generating 20 goals off a tournament-leading 233 shots. Canada, by comparison, leads the tournament in efficiency, with 33 goals off 194 shots, followed by Japan (13 goals, 140 shots) and the Czechs (10, 111).

    The power play is also a concern. The U.S. ranks fourth, converting four of 19 chances. Canada, meanwhile, has been the most productive, going 6 of 13 on the power play, including Brianne Jenner converting her team’s lone opportunity on Tuesday.

    Jenner’s goal, capping nifty three-way passing play, came at a time when the U.S. had controlled momentum, having a 14-2 edge in shots through the first 14-plus minutes. The back-breaker for the Americans, however, came when their power-play unit gave up a shorthanded breakaway to Marie-Philip Poulin, who eventually scored on a penalty shot awarded to her after Cayla Barnes was called for hooking.

    Not only did the power play blow a chance to tie the game at 3, the U.S. fell behind 4-2 with 2:35 remaining in the second period, with Poulin capping Canada’s three-goal run over a span of 5:25.

    While the Canadians possess an aggressive transition attack to fit their players’ speed and play-making strengths, the Americans have a more plodding offense, more reliant on zone time and converting chances around the crease.

    Canada’s defense countered by crowding the front of the net to limit most of the Americans’ chances to the outside.

    “We just need to keep the pucks off the yellow and get them to the net and create that time and space that we need,” U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schofield said, referring to the yellow ribbon along the bottom of the boards.

    Both American goals came from in close. Dani Cameranesi converted her own rebound, and Alex Carpenter was set up to the right of the net, where she backhanded a shot in.

    Otherwise, Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens had a mostly an easy time stopping shots from the outside.

    “It didn’t feel like a 50-something shot game,” Desbiens said.

    Her best stops came when she kept the game scoreless during the opening 10 minutes. Grace Zumwinkle found a lane to the net only to have her backhander from in tight stopped. Abbey Murphy failed on a breakaway chance when her shot caught Desbiens’ pad and bounced off the post.

    “I don’t know the last time we put up that many shots against them. I think that’s something that we can take away, that we had the puck a lot of the game,” Amanda Kessel said. “Just got to find a way to put more in the net than them.”

    The U.S. is further hampered playing without top-line center Brianna Decker, who broke her left ankle in a 5-2 win over Finland on Thursday.

    Zumwinkle’s status is in question after she appeared to hurt her hand in the closing minutes on Tuesday.

    NOTES: The four goals allowed by the U.S. matched a team Olympic record, dating to a 7-4 win over Canada in the cross-border rivals’ first Olympic meeting at the 1998 Nagano Games. … With two goals and nine assists for 11 points, Canada’s Natalie Spooner is tied for second with fellow Canadians Caroline Ouellette (2010) and Hayley Wickenheiser (2010) and for most assists in one tournament. Wickenheiser holds the record with 12, set in 2006. … Canada hosts Sweden in the other quarterfinal on Friday, while on Saturday, Finland plays Group B champion Japan and Switzerland plays the Russian team.