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Japanese women still winless on ice

Kyodo

Japan’s women’s hockey team had salt thrown in the wound Sunday as it was handed yet another defeat at the hands of Russia, although the team put up a brave fight in the classifications for fifth to eighth place at the Sochi Games.

Dropping to its fourth consecutive defeat in a 6-3 loss, Japan moved just one loss shy of reliving the nightmare of the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where it lost all five games after gaining entry to the tournament as the host nation.

The Japanese team, which is ranked 10th in the world, has never won an Olympic match. It will next play Germany to try and save face in a match for seventh or eighth place.

Galina Skiba scored twice and Anna Shukina, Anna Shokhina, Olga Sosina and Tatyana Burina each added goals as Russia beat “Smile Japan” for the second time in Sochi following its 2-1 win over Yuji Iizuka’s squad in the Group B preliminary round.