Pyeongchang 2018

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USA and Canada set up next chapter of their enduring Olympic rivalry


Get ready for another enthralling installment of the enduring rivalry between Canada and the USA in women’s ice hockey.

Once more, the pair will contest Olympic gold after straightforward semi-final victories in PyeongChang.

USA brushed aside Finland 5-0, while reigning Olympic champions Canada defeated OAR by the same scoreline.

Now they will face off again on February 22nd, their fifth final meeting in six Olympics.


How they got there

It was a dominant performance from the US in their showdown with Finland on Monday.

After Gigi Marvin opened the scoring, Dani Cameranesi grabbed the first of her two goals to make it 2-0 at the end of the first period.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Hilary Knight hammered home their advantage before Cameranesi wrapped things up in the third.

Canada dismissed the Olympic Athletes from Russia in similar style.

Jenn Wakefield put them on their way in the first period, with captain Marie-Philip Poulin doubling the lead in the second.

It was in the third period that Canada really came on strong – with Wakefield grabbing her second before Emily Clark and Rebecca Johnston confirmed the win.


Strange pattern

So we now have the USA v Canada final everyone anticipated before the Games began.

The familiar foes have settled into a strange pattern in recent years.

Canada have claimed the gold medals in all the Winter Games since the event debuted at Nagano ’98.

PyeongChang could be their fifth in a row.

Meanwhile, the US have come out on top recently in their World Championship battles.

The last four Women’s World champs have all been won by the US. And all by winning over Canada in the final.


Small margins

The North American neighbours have already met at PyeongChang 2018.

They faced off in their final preliminary group game.

As is so often the case on Olympic ice, it was the Canadians who just edged it by a 2-1 scoreline.

Both teams had already booked a semi-final spot, but that didn’t make the encounter any less intense.

The US can take some satisfaction over their performance.

After all, they hit the post four times and came across an immovable object in the shape of Canada’s goaltender Genevieve Lacasse.

She stopped 44 out of 45 shots.

But for Canada, their psychological hold was fractionally tightened once more.  It was their sixth straight victory over the USA.

So small margins all round.


Unfinished business

Coming so close but being so far away – the loser in three of the last four Olympic finals to Canada – has taken an emotional toll on the USA.

But their head coach Robb Stauber believes his side have to try and focus all the disappointment felt into something positive.

“Let’s be honest, there is unfinished business,” the ex-LA Kings goaltender told the Olympic Channel.

“But you’ve got to come at it from a fresh perspective. You do truly have to just let go and learn from it, which they have.”

Same story with a different ending? The world will find out on Thursday.


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