The American and Canadian girls’s hockey groups will spend Thursday afternoon precisely the place they anticipated to be from the begin of the Olympic Games: taking part in in the gold medal recreation.
The suspense in Beijing was nearly by no means going to be in the matchup. The two international locations have fought over the gold medal in each Games however one since girls’s hockey grew to become an Olympic sport in 1998. The actual questions have been about the circumstances of the groups headed into one other tilt, and, in fact, the final result after 60 minutes (or extra time, as in 2014, or, as in 2018, a shootout).
The Canadians, who’ve scored an Olympic-record 54 targets throughout their keep in Beijing, want to dethrone the Americans as Olympic champions. They will arrive for their last recreation at Wukesong Sports Center with three of the 5 main scorers of those Games: Brianne Jenner (9), Sarah Fillier (8) and Jamie Lee Rattray (5).
The Americans have put up fewer factors general, however Hilary Knight, who’s taking part in in her fourth Games for the United States, can be amongst the event’s scoring leaders, with 5 targets.
Both groups will even ship skilled goaltenders onto the ice. The United States has relied on three formidable netminders — Alex Cavallini, Nicole Hensley and Maddie Rooney — who’ve allowed a complete of eight targets. Canada accounts for half of that whole, from when it beat the Americans, 4-2, in a preliminary spherical recreation.
Canada will ship Ann-Renée Desbiens to the crease, once more wagering that she is going to thwart the aggressive American offense.
Expect plentiful velocity, significantly from Kendall Coyne Schofield, the American captain and certainly one of the world’s quickest skaters.
“It’s the greatest attribute of my game,” she stated in an interview final month. The sport, she added, was changing into speedier as an entire.
“It’s getting faster because of the training, the innovation behind training mechanisms, the innovation behind recovery mechanisms and just the evolution of training and skating,” she stated. “I think players are working hard, but they’re also working smarter.”
The Canadians, awfully speedy themselves, are bracing for the onslaught.
“Obviously, when we play the Americans, it’s a fast game,” stated Sarah Nurse, a Canadian ahead. “And so it’s about really spreading them out, not getting too in tight, getting into corners, but really spreading out their defense so we can create offense.”
The recreation, at 11:10 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, will air on NBC.