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Canada and USA to reignite rivalry in Beijing 2022 women’s hockey final – Team Canada

Andrew Lahodynskyj/COC

These Olympics were nothing short of historic for Brianne Jenner.

Competing in her third Games, the 30-year-old Ontario athlete scored her ninth goal at Beijing 2022 in Team Canada’s 10-3 semi-final victory over Switzerland, tying the record for most goals scored in a single Olympic tournament. Jenner played a key role in helping Canada go a perfect 6-0 in Beijing, but the seventh win will be the most important for the team.

Brianne Jenner (19) of Team Canada skates during the first period of the match against the United States of America in the preliminary round at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 8, 2022. Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/COC

Canada will face defending Olympic champions United States in the women’s hockey gold medal game on Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. ET. The two rival teams have met in five of the last six Olympic finals since the sport entered the Olympic program at Nagano 1998 as the Americans won the most recent of those Olympic finals – 3-2 in a shootout – in Pyeongchang 2018.

“I think we know this story, but we’re going to start from a blank slate,” Jenner said of the duel for gold against the Americans. We see it as an opportunity to play a match and win the gold instead of turning our attention to the history books and what happened. »

“We know the context well and we have to go out and deliver a performance worthy of the gold medal, whether it leads to the gold medal (or not). We have to make sure we show up and give the best possible performance. »

If Jenner leads the tournament scorers, Sarah Nurse leads the points standings, with 16 (4 goals and 12 assists) in six games. Nurse had four assists in Canada’s semifinal win and will be looking to add an Olympic gold medal to the silver won in PyeongChang.

“It’s an exciting rivalry, but we’re focused on just playing one more game,” Nurse said. “We came here to play seven games and we wanted the last one to be the gold medal game. »

Nurse and the Canadians know they will have to put on their best performance at Beijing 2022 in the gold medal game. Canada defeated the United States 4-2 in the preliminary round, but they were outshot 53-27. The team is also coming off a victory in the semi-finals where they allowed three goals, the highest total allowed in their games in Beijing.

“We want to produce a lot offensively, but we know we also have to tighten up defensively,” Nurse said. “Before this final we know that we will have to be more aware of our game in our own territory. »

Team Canada goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens walks down the hall to the rink followed by the other players from the Beijing 2022 hockey team.
Emerance Maschmeyer (38) and Ann-Renée Desbiens (35) walk to the rink before a match at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 8, 2022. Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/COC

TO READ : Team Canada wins first game against USA in women’s hockey at Beijing 2022

The United States come into this gold medal game with a 5-1 record in Beijing, their only loss at the hands of Canada. The team is led by Hilary Knight, author of five buses and four assists.

Ann-Renée Desbiens has started four of Canada’s six games, going 4-0 with a 1.75 goals-against-average and .936 save percentage. Desbiens made 23 saves in Canada’s 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the gold medal game at the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship last August.

Marie-Philip Poulin scored the golden goal for Canada at this World Championship and she will certainly get some special attention in Wednesday’s game. Not only does the Canadian captain rank second in tournament scoring with 14 points (4 goals and 10 assists), but she also scored the game-winning goals in the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games finals.

Marie-Philip Poulin of Team Canada plays the puck against Jincy Dunne of the United States at Beijing 2022.
Team Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin (29) plays the puck against Jincy Dunne (19) of the United States during the second period in a preliminary round game at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on February 8, 2022 Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/COC

TO READ : Best of 2021: Team Canada wins first women’s hockey world title since 2012

Like Poulin, Rebecca Johnston is competing in her fourth Olympics, having made her debut on home soil in 2010. After years of preparation and overcoming pandemic-related challenges, Johnston says her team will be ready for one final game. in Beijing.

“We’re all fired up and ready,” Johnston said. We worked all year to live this moment, we worked so hard so we will be ready to play this final and give our all. »

“We definitely have this gold medal in mind. It’s something we want to accomplish. »

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