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Ice hockey: Japanese women notches 1st Olympic victory 4-1 over Korea

Hanae Kubo, left, celebrates with Haruka Toko (14), of Japan, after scoring a goal against the combined Koreas during the first period of the preliminary round of the women's hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, on Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) -- 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.

    South Korea got a berth as host of the Pyeongchang 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.

    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.

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