The U.S. Women’s National Team is excited for a return to game action, and the players are especially eager for more opportunities to square off against their biggest rival.
The U.S. will open the My Why Tour, presented by Toyota, against Canada at 7:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 22 at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The U.S. is also scheduled to square off against Canada on Oct. 25 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, at 7 p.m. ET and Dec. 20 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Additional Tour stops are planned to be announced in the coming weeks.
“Obviously, we’re excited to compete and play games again,” said forward Brianna Decker. “It’s the tour before the Olympics and it’s an opportunity for us to grow the game in different areas. I’m excited to play and compete with my teammates. We’ve never been to Allentown, so that will be a great opportunity for us to impact the area.”
The U.S. Women’s National Team has currently established residency in Blaine, Minnesota, in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, which will run Feb. 3-20 in Beijing, China. The My Why Tour is an opportunity for the U.S. women to not only battle Canada, their biggest rival, but also showcase their “why” — why players push themselves to succeed and achieve their goals — in an effort to inspire future generations.
“Getting to go around to all of these different states and cities and really showcase our team, and just getting to compete against Canada and represent our country is something we always look forward to,” said defender Megan Keller. “We’re really excited to kick things off in Allentown.”
A total of 28 players were invited to the team’s residency program where they will train together before the Olympic Winter Games. Ultimately, 23 players will be selected to play in the Games, as the final roster is expected to be announced in early January.
The residency roster features 14 players who won a gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PeyongChang, South Korea, including Decker and Keller. There are seven who played on the silver medal-winning team during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and one — forward Hilary Knight — who played on the silver medal team during the 2010 Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We’re able to get on the ice each day and practice with one another,” Keller said. “Residency gives us the chance to really focus on coming together as a group and honing in on everything.”
The U.S. and Canada most recently squared off twice during the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship, which took place Aug. 20-31, in Calgary, Alberta. After Canada prevailed 5-1 in a preliminary round matchup, the teams met again for a tense gold-medal game. The U.S. held an early 2-0 lead, but Canada rallied to win 3-2 in overtime to halt the U.S. streak at five world titles in a row.
Still, the U.S. women have still claimed gold in five of the last six world championships and eight of the previous 10 tournaments.
“Anytime we play [Canada] it’s always a battle,” Keller said. “It’s one of the greatest rivalries in hockey and certainly for us, so I think anytime we play we want to represent the USA and take it to them. We’re really pumped to get back on the ice and get a little revenge.”
“I think our team is just looking forward to starting the Tour,” Decker said. “Anytime we play, it’s going to be a great game. It’s always fun and gritty. I don’t know if redemption is the right word, but we’re just ready to compete against them again.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
|DATE||Game||LOCATION||Game Time (Local/ET)||Game Stats||BROADCAST|
|Oct. 22||USA vs. Canada||Allentown, Pa.
|L, 1-3||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Oct. 25||USA vs. Canada
Driven By AAA
| Hartford, Conn.
|L, 2-3||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Nov. 21||Canada vs. USA||Kingston, Ont.
|OTW, 3-2||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Nov. 23||Canada vs. USA||Ottawa, Ont.
TD Place Arena
|W, 2-0||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Dec. 15||USA vs. Canada||St. Louis, Mo.
Centene Community Ice Center
|OTL, 1-2||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Dec. 17||USA vs. Canada||St. Louis, Mo.
Centene Community Ice Center
|OTL, 2-3||Click Here||NHL Network|
|Dec. 20||USA vs. Canada|| Saint Paul, Minn.
Xcel Energy Center
|Jan. 3||Canada vs. USA||Edmonton, Alta.
|Jan. 6||Canada vs. USA||Red Deer, Alta.
Peavey Mart Centrium