US and Canada Square Off for the Gold Medal in Women’s Hockey

US and Canada Sq. Off for the Gold Medal in Girls’s Hockey

The American and Canadian girls’s hockey groups are spending Thursday in Beijing precisely the place they anticipated to be from the beginning of those Olympics: enjoying within the gold medal recreation.

The suspense was nearly by no means going to be within the matchup. The 2 international locations have fought over the gold medal in each Video games however one since girls’s hockey turned an Olympic sport in 1998. The one factor left to be settled is the rating after 60 minutes (or time beyond regulation, as in 2014, or, as in 2018, a shootout).

Canada appeared to strike first about seven minutes into the sport, when the American goaltender Alex Cavallini deflected a puck and noticed Natalie Spooner sweep in with a strong shot that crossed the purpose line. The US, although, contended that Canada had been offside — an evaluation the officers upheld after a problem by the Individuals.

It was a respite that stored the sport scoreless for less than 35 extra seconds, when, after Canada gained a face-off, Sarah Nurse took a cross from Claire Thompson, spun and scored, the puck rattling into the proper facet of the web.

Canada added its second purpose later within the interval, when Marie-Philip Poulin, enjoying in her fourth Video games and all however unchallenged at that second by the Individuals, mounted a deep shot that screamed into the web.

The Canadians, who’ve scored an Olympic-record 54 targets throughout their keep in Beijing, wish to dethrone the Individuals as Olympic champions. They arrived for his or her closing recreation at Wukesong Sports activities Heart with three of the 5 main scorers of those Video games: Brianne Jenner (9 targets), Sarah Fillier (8) and Jamie Lee Rattray (5).

The Individuals have put up fewer targets total, however Hilary Knight, who’s enjoying in her fourth Video games for the USA, can be among the many event’s scoring leaders, with 5.

Each groups even have skilled goaltenders on the ice: Cavallini for the USA and Ann-Renée Desbiens for Canada.

Anticipate plentiful pace on this recreation, significantly from Kendall Coyne Schofield, the American captain and one of many world’s quickest skaters.

“It’s the best attribute of my recreation,” she mentioned in an interview final month. The game, she added, was changing into speedier as a complete.

“It’s getting sooner due to the coaching, the innovation behind coaching mechanisms, the innovation behind restoration mechanisms and simply the evolution of coaching and skating,” she mentioned. “I feel gamers are working exhausting, however they’re additionally working smarter.”

The Canadians, awfully speedy themselves, had been bracing for the onslaught.

“Clearly, once we play the Individuals, it’s a quick recreation,” Nurse mentioned earlier than the ultimate. “And so it’s about actually spreading them out, not getting too in tight, entering into corners, however actually spreading out their protection so we are able to create offense.”

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