As predicted from the start, the stage is set for another battle between Canada and the United States in the gold-medal game of Olympic women's hockey.
This game will mark the fifth time these rivals will face off for gold in six Olympic women’s hockey tournaments. Canada has won the past three finals, in 2002, 2010, and 2014, after the Americans won the inaugural tournament back in ’98. The game will take place Wednesday, February 21st at 11 p.m. ET.
Canada vs. United States Gold Medal Game Betting Odds
We had a preview of this matchup on February 14th when Canada got away with a 2-1 win after being outshot 45-23 by Team USA in a preliminary-round game at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
It’ll all come down to goaltending. When asked her opinion on which team had the advantage in the gold medal showdown, Finnish netminder Noora Raty had this to say: “It’s tough. Canada plays so well as a team; they’re prepared, their system’s really good. U.S. is more individual skills. I think it’s going to come down to goaltending, honestly.”
The American team will most likely start their young goalie and Olympic rookie, Maddie Rooney, whereas Team Canada will go with their veteran, Shannon Szabados. If she doesn’t start, Canada could go with Geneviève Lacasse, who was between the pipes when Canada won that first game against the Americans.
Canadians who woke up early Monday morning to see Canada take the final step towards the gold medal match-up were rewarded with a convincing 5-0 win (for the second time in these games) against the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the semifinal. Canada’s dominance at the Olympic games is unprecedented. This was their 24th-straight win in Olympic competition.
The big star of the game against OAR was Jennifer Wakefield, who put two goals on the board for the Canadians. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Emily Clark and Rebecca Johnston got the other three goals.
Shannon Szabados made 14 saves in that shutout, and she stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Canadian’s 4-1 victory over Finland in the prelims.
The United States solidified their position as gold medal contenders with a nice 5-0 win against Finland. Even though the Americans have beaten the Canadian team at the last four world championships, the Olympic gold medal has eluded them for two decades. Also fresh in the minds of Team USA is the heartbreaking defeat they experienced at Sochi in 2014, when they lost their lead in the last minutes of the game, forcing overtime, which Canada capitalized on to get the win.
Captain Meghan Duggan, Kacey Bellamy, Hilary Knight, Gigi Marvin, and Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson will be making their third attempt at gold this year, and firmly believe they have the right system in place to finally dethrone Team Canada.
Hilary Knight shared her thoughts on this inevitable matchup, saying that “this is the world’s biggest stage. This is the game that you want. This is the game we’ve been dreaming of and to have another opportunity to get back here, it’s huge.”
Canada vs. USA Olympic Gold Medal Game Prediction
USA 3, Canada 2