An Olympic rivalry years in the making will take center ice Wednesday night as Team USA looks to defend its gold medal, battling Canada once again in the women’s ice hockey final at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The game marks the fourth Winter Olympics in a row that the United States and Canada will face off in the gold medal game.
Since the beginning of international hockey in the late 1980s, the U.S. and Canada have met in the gold medal game in six out of seven Olympic Games with women’s ice hockey, 18 of 19 IIHF Women’s World Championships and 21 of 23 4 Nations Cups.
It’s the two clear-cut top dogs in women’s ice hockey and it’s only fitting to see the two reaching the championship game yet again.
This year’s U.S. grouping features a large contingent of Chicago-area stars, including some of the most notable Team USA veterans and star newcomers.
The U.S. women’s hockey team will battle their biggest rival, Canada, in the gold-medal final at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
When is the women’s ice hockey gold medal game?
Puck drop for the highly-anticipated matchup is set for tonight at 10:10 p.m. CT. The game will air live on national TV on NBC, streamed on NBCOlympics.com or available on Peacock.
How have the U.S. and Canada performed at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Both have breezed through the 2022 Olympic competition with relative ease. In Group A, each team went undefeated against Finland, Switzerland and ROC. The United States outscored those three opponents 18-2 while Canada dominated that trio to combined tune of 29-3.
The U.S. and Canada met in the final game of the preliminary round, where the United States peppered Ann-Renee Desbiens with 53 shots, but the Canadian goaltender turned aside all but two of those shots en route to a 4-2 victory for Canada.
In the quarterfinals, Canada made quick work of Sweden with an 11-0 victory while the U.S. were able to get by the Czech Republic 4-1. In the semifinals, it was another easy victory for Canada, defeating Switzerland 10-3 while the U.S. again grabbed a 4-1 win, this time against Finland.
Who have been the best players on Canada?
On the Canadian side, the team has been lead by a high-flying offense. Sarah Nurse is the tournament leader with 16 points in six games, Marie-Philip Poulin and Natalie Spooner each have 14 points, Brianne Jenner leads the tournament with nine goals and right behind her is Sarah Fillier with eight goals.
While the offense has been the highlight of the Canadians, the defense and goaltending has been no slouch. Desbiens has started in four of the six games for Canada, allowing just seven goals on 110 shots.
Who have been the best players on the U.S.?
On the American side, the veteran Hilary Knight is leading the way with five goals and four assists in six games. Savannah Harmon and Amanda Kessel have recorded seven points so far in the tournament.
Alex Cavallini, Maddie Rooney and Nicole Hensley have all seen action in net for the United States. Combined they have allowed just eight goals so far at the Olympics.
The U.S. remain without one of its best player, Brianna Decker, who was injured in the opening game against Finland.
Which members of Team USA have Chicago-area ties?
Several U.S. players competing for Team USA in women’s ice hockey are from, or grew up in the Chicago area. They include:
Abbey Murphy: Originally from Evergreen Park, Illinois
Hilary Knight: Grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois
Jesse Compher: Originally from Northbrook, Illinois
Kendall Coyne-Schofield: Originally from Palos Heights, Illinois
Megan Bozek: Originally from Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Savannah Harmon: Originally from Downers Grove, Illinois
Who won the gold medal in women’s ice hockey in 2018?
The U.S. won gold in 2018, defeating Canada 3-2 in a shootout during the PyeongChang Games. It was the first time in 20 years the Americans won the gold.
Knight opened the scoring with a goal in the first period before Canada notched two goals in the second to grab a 2-1 lead. Monique Lamoureux-Morando potted the game-tying goal early in the third. Neither side got find the back of the net for the rest of third or in the overtime period.
Tied going into the sixth round of the shootout, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson deked around Canada’s Shannon Szabados and slide the puck into the open net. Meghan Agosta needed to score for Canada to stay alive, but she was stuffed by Maddie Rooney, sending the Americans into celebration.
The women will look to win back-to-back gold for the first time at the Olympics tonight.