From 1998 until 2018, a span of 6 Olympics, Canada and USA have faced off for women’s hockey gold 5 times, with Canada winning all but once. Yet, Wednesday night’s matchup should be must watch television if you’re a hockey or even just a general sports fan.
2018 Winter Olympics Hockey – USA vs. Canada For Gold
Sure, only Canada and the United States have a decent amount of amateur girls and women registered playing hockey in their respective countries. And sure, the rest of the world has been painstakingly slow at catching up to the skill and pace of these two teams. It’s what has soured some hockey purists.
But this matchup has something else going for it – hate. These two teams genuinely do not like each other. It was on display a few days ago at the Winter Games when they met in the round robin for the first time ever. Canada won an overtime game. But it was the intensity and rough stuff after the whistle that really marked this game.
It’s been the same old pattern. The Americans are much better at the world championship tournaments, whereas Canada has risen to the occasion on the Olympic stage.
Team USA has really fed off the growth of women’s hockey at the collegiate level, while Team Canada continues to draw on the fact that it’s the national sport of the country.
While there’s no hitting in women’s hockey, you can feel the hate. You can see the dislike. And yes, the passion is evident each and every second that these two clubs do battle.
So whether it’s in the United States as it was in 2002, or in Canada like in 2010, it doesn’t seem to matter where they play this familiar championship matchup.
Both squads want it badly.
Dare I predict the winner? Well, me being Canadian aside, it just seems like Canada has USA’s number at the Olympics. So I will say Canada 4-2 (with the final goal being an empty-net goal).
Other than tennis at a Grand Slam event, this might be the height of women in sports. So enjoy everyone.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.