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Olympics: Preview of the women's hockey final

Hockey

February 16, 2022
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: For the sixth time in seven Olympics, Team USA will face Team Canada with women’s hockey gold on the line. The rivalry, the rematch — we’re ready.

The background: The two squads are, in a word, dominant, combining to win every Olympic title since the sport’s debut in 1998. Team USA are the defending gold medalists, having topped the North in stunning shootout fashion at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

  • But Canada claimed the 2021 World Championship (and last week’s preliminary round game in Beijing). Are you not entertained?

How they got here: Team Canada has bulldozed their way through the tournament, breaking their own Olympic record (OR) with 54 goals while going undefeated and routing Sweden and Switzerland in the quarter-finals and semis, respectively. The power of Justin Bieber.

  • Meanwhile, the Americans have faced some challenges en route to the finals, losing alternate captain Brianna Decker to injury in their opener and posting surprisingly narrow elimination wins over Czechia and Finland.

Players to watch: As Hilary Knight goes, the U.S. goes. The four-time Olympian has notched a team-high nine points this tourney. Clutch is an understatement.

  • Canada boasts plenty of depth with eight (!!!) players in the top 10 scorers, but we’ll have our eye on newcomer Sarah Fillier, who has scored a whopping eight goals in six games.

How to watch: As mentioned, this gold medal game is dividing the North American GIST team, so we’ll spare a prediction. Tune into NBC in the U.S. and CBC in Canada to see how the showdown unfolds. Drop. that. puck.