This is it. The day we’ve all been waiting for (unless you’re this brainless idiot). The US and Canada will face off against each other for the first time at the 2022 Winter Olympics. This game will kick off the day of final prelims for women’s hockey over in Beijing. Puck drop is not until 10:10PM CT on February 7th over in the US but in Beijing, it will be the first game of the day at 12:10PM on February 8th. (Timezones give me a headache.) After that, we’ll see final prelim matchups between Japan and the Czech Republic at 2:40AM CT on the 8th, Sweden vs Denmark at 7:10AM CT, and finnally Finnland vs the ROC also at 7:10AM CT. These games will factor into where teams fall in the final medal rounds of the Olympics.
This past year we’ve seen this US and Canada Women’s Hockey match up time and time again yet it was always a long-fought battle for who comes out victorious. We ended the 2021 calendar year with a great stretch of games between the US and Canada at the Rivalry Series/My Why Tour. From October 22nd to December 17th, these two teams battled 6 times with the US winning just 2 of those games. An additional 3 were supposed to be played on December 20th, January 3rd, and 6th but were ultimately canceled due to COVID concerns so close to the Olympics.
So this is the first real game we’ve seen between the US and Canada since December and I am ready for it. These games NEVER fail to excite. This rivalry is real, it’s intense, and it’s due for another installment at the highest level. So far in these Olympics, the US and Canada have been the cream of the crop. We’ll start with Canada first.
Canada has won all 3 of their games and outscored opponents 29 – 3. Their top players have been Natalie Spooner, who has 10 points (2G 8A), and Sarah Nurse, who had 7 points (4G 3A). With them at the top is the rookie and soon-to-be-superstar Sarah Fillier, who has 6 points (5G 1A) in her first 3 Olympic games. Ann-Renee Desbiens has been their go-to goalie so far – starting 2 of the 3 games. She has a .954 save percentage and just 1.00 GAA. Emerance Maschmeyer is their backup with 1 win, a .9167 save percentage, and 1.00 GAA. They also have Kristen Campbell, she has yet to start but did a great job during her time with the University of Wisconsin a couple years back. Canada is a team you gotta keep an eye on the entire game. They’ve got talented players up and down the lineup. There’s no downtime when you face them, they’ve got the offensive power to go all game.
Meanwhile, the US, who have also won all 3 of their games so far, are outscoring opponents 18 – 2. They may not be at the absolute top of the points board at the Games but they’ve been keeping their whits about them. Hilary Knight is currently leading the US with 5 points (3G 2A), Amanda Kessel (2G 3A) and Savannah Harmon (1G 4A) are right beside her with 5 points themselves. Savannah Harmon is playing as lethal as I thought she would be in these games. She’s a defender at her first Olympics already keeping up with the big dogs with 5 points in just 3 games so far. Jesse Compher, who is also in her first Olympics, has been another strong player I’ve loved out there. She had 2 goals in today’s win against Switzerland so she’s got 3 goals and 1 assist so far. Alex Carpenter (3G 1A) and Kelly Pannek (2G 2A) are right with Compher tied for 2nd in points on the team.
The scoring is really spread out on this US team. They’re not shooting for the moon on goal count but they’re getting great wins. They don’t let opposing teams get a lot of shots off but when they do, they’ve got a solid trio in net to keep things tight. Maddie Rooney played their first game against Finland and she only allowed 2 goals on 14 shots. Meanwhile, Nicole Hensley and Alex (Rigsby) Cavallini have both secured shutouts in the US’s last two games. No matter who is in the net, I know this US team has strong faith in that goaltender to stop those pucks they can’t.
The last two games of the My Why Tour were absolute nail-biters. These two teams fought deep into OT to determine the winners. In both cases, Canada did win but the US came incredibly close to ending it in their favor. This will be a comeback game for the US. They couldn’t retaliate at the My Why Tour with a win last December/ early January so they’ve come back to win this now. It’ll be a late-night game, puck drop is scheduled for 10:10 PM CT. I will be sitting front and center in front of my family television with my USA jersey on, cheering for the motherland, cold beer in hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some more OT in this one, along with some heavy hits as well as plenty of scuffles here and there. This rivalry gets heated and what better way to kick it up to 11 than their last prelim game at the Olympics.
Last but not least:
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