Paralympic Winter Games
04 - 13 March

Exciting matchups await in the battle for the semifinals

The qualifying finals are set with South Korea to play against Italy and hosts China taking on the Czech Republic 09 Mar 2022
A Para ice hockey player in full gear kicks the puck with a stick past the goalie who throws himself on the ice.
Yifeng Shen of China scores past Czech goalie Martin Kudela in the teams preliminary stage matchup on 6 March.
ⒸSteph Chambers/Getty Images
By OIS and World Para Ice Hockey

The Para ice hockey tournament at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic WinterGames got to the knockout phase after a three-day preliminary round ending on a Tuesday night (8 March).

With seven teams divided into two groups, six of them progressed into the fight for medals. Only Slovakia is going home after the group stage with a seventh-place finish in their Winter Paralympics debut.

USA and Canada have already progressed to the semifinals as the first two teams from Group A.


South Korea, third in Group A with zero points and one goal scored, will play Italy in the opening game on Wednesday (9 March).

It will be the rematch of the bronze-medal game at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. South Korea took a narrow 1-0 win to medal at the Winter Paralympics for the first time.

The Asian team is not having the best of tournaments in Beijing 2022. Although they played against the favourites for gold and silver, they still managed to get only seven shots on goal in two games.

Goalie Jae Woong Lee is sure that the team will deliver in the most important game.

"Next time we will be better. [Next] game, we will show the best of Korea."

Italy has not had a great week at Beijing 2022 either. They suffered heavy losses against the Czech Republic and China, while their only win came against Slovakia after the shootout (1:1, 3:2).

Following the defeat to China on Tuesday, the Italians had to wait for the final game of the day to know if they would progress or go home. They needed the Czechs to defeat Slovakia which they did without problems (3-0).


In the aftermath of the game against China, the Italians talked about the rise of the host nation in recent years.

“They are so strong, especially one player [Yifeng Shen] who is really on another kind of level," said Andrea Macri.

“They really did a good job [in recent] years and I think they’ll fight for an important medal.”

Macri's statement about Yifeng Shen, the best goal scorer in the tournament, did not go unnoticed.

“I’d like to thank him for what he said. I usually just try to do what I’ve learned and try to work on in training and bring that onto the ice for competitions. I try to treasure every chance I get to compete,” said Shen who scored five goals so far in the tournament and added three assists to his tally.

After winning all three of their group stage games in their Paralympic debut, the hosts are taking on the Czech Republic in their qualifying finals game.

“There will be no easy games. Each game is critical because they can decide how far we will go in the tournament. We will cherish every moment on the ice in the next few days and do our best," said the teams captain Yutao Cui.

China already played against the Czechs in the second round game winning 5-2. It was not as straightforward as the results suggest. After the goalless first period, China took the lead only 11 seconds into the second period after a mistake from Czech defence.

Yifeng Shen scored his only goal of the game, while four other players went to put their names on the scoreboard and decide the winner after the second period.

“We need to improve the passes, we need to avoid some mistakes we did in the last match, and play tough again,” said Zdenek Krupicka of the Czech Republic in the build up to the game.

Whoever wins the qualifying finals game between China and the Czech Republic will make its first-ever semifinal appearance.

The defending champions USA will be waiting for the winner of that matchup, while Canada will face the winner of South Korea vs. Italy.

Live streaming and live results from Beijing 2022 will be available on You can follow all the action, behind the scenes and news on World Para Ice Hockey social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.