It was the predictable finale and now it’s confirmed. Canada and United States (USA) will play for the women’s ice hockey gold medal at Beijing 2022, next Thursday 17 Februaryat 12:10 p.m. local time (1h10 hour from Brasilia).
Canada reaches the final with only triumphs and good numbers between goals scored/conceded (54-8).
After eliminating Sweden in the quarter-finals (11-0), the Canadians again showed ease to finish, beating Switzerland by 10-3. The triumph was based on the good performances of the figures of the team: Brianne Jenner scored his ninth goal of the tournament, captain Marie-Philip Poulin marked twice and Sarah Nurse provided four assists. We will see if in the final Poulin can once again become Canada’s talisman, she who already has two gold medals and a silver, scoring in all the finals she has played, even if in the last one she failed during the decisive shootout against the United States at PyeongChang 2018.
The United States, on the other hand, had to sweat a bit more to reach the gold medal game. In the quarter-final, a quiet 4-1 win over the Czechs and even though the semi-final ended with the same result, Finland played a great game until five minutes into the second half: Cayla Barnes made it 1-0 on the power play and even in the outing at rest Hilary Knight scored 2-0.
The third period brought three more goals: Hayley Scamurra made 3-0, Susanna Tapani answered with 3-1 and Abby Roque placed the final 4-1. Finland played a serious game, with a lot of quality, but the USA were superior and imposed their favoritism to reach the Olympic final (Thursday at 01:10 GMT). Switzerland and Finland will play for bronze on the 16th at 7:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. in Brasilia).
The rivalry between neighbors has global repercussions
The last world championship put the missing salt and pepper in the duels between Canada and the USA. At an event held in Calgary, the hosts regained a title that had eluded Canada since 2012.
The rivalry between neighbors has global repercussions, in fact there has only been an alternate final once: in 2019, the United States beat Finland 2-1. The same thing happens at the Olympic Games: it wasn’t until Turin 2006 that we had another final and Canada beat Sweden for gold.
Since women competed in Olympic ice hockey – Nagano 1998 – Canada have had the upper hand (4-2), although the Americans managed to win at PyeongChang 2018.
Already in Beijing 2022, we had the first round of this battle, with Canada winning 4-2. The losers controlled the puck, had 53 shots, but struggled in shorthanded situations throughout the tournament and came away with one of the worst records in terms of “penalty kills” (three goals conceded in seven situations of inferiority – 57.14 percent of efficiency is the worst figures among all the teams).
Everything could change with increased efficiency on the part of the United States. Does anyone risk a prognosis for the second turn?
“Pop culture fan. Coffee expert. Bacon nerd. Infuriatingly humble communicator. Friendly gamer.”