Unified Korean team scores 1st-ever Olympic goal in loss

Japanese squad makes history of its own with 1st Winter Games victory

Unified Korean team scores 1st-ever Olympic goal in loss
Members of the united Korean hockey team celebrate Randi Heesoo Griffin's goal against Japan, the team's first. © Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

By Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press

Hanae Kubo and Shoko Ono each scored in the first period, and Japan held off Korea 4-1 Wednesday for its first Olympic victory in women's hockey.

Japan came into its third Olympics winless, but it has the ninth-ranked team in the world and tops in Asia.

VIDEO | Japanese women earn 1st victory

South Korea got a berth as host of the Winter Games and brought in six North Americans for their debut. The Koreans also had the added burden of playing with 12 North Koreans added to their expanded roster last month under an agreement between countries divided for seven decades. Kubo scored 67 seconds in, and Ono added a power-play goal at 3:58.

The Koreans made more Olympic history of their own with their first goal at 9:31 of the second on their 33rd shot over three games. Randi Heesoo Griffin from Cary, North Carolina, whose mother is South Korean, scored from the right circle off an assist from fellow American Marissa Brandt before the Koreans came together jumping and celebrating on the ice.

VIDEO | Unified Korean team scores historic 1st goal

Fans erupted while the North Korean cheerleaders jumped from their seats in the most uncoordinated moves they've made yet.

Shin So Jung made 40 saves keeping Korea close. Then Shiori Koike scored on a slap shot from the high slot with 8:18 left, and Rui Ukita had an empty-netter with 1:27 to go.