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USA vs. Canada: A Storied Women's Hockey Rivalry

By USA Hockey, 02/06/19, 12:45PM EST


Members of the U.S. Women's National Team reflect on their most memorable moments from USA-Canada rivalry

As the excitement ahead of the 2019 Rivalry Series between the U.S. and Canada continues to mount, we asked a few members of the U.S. Women's National Team which moments in the USA-Canada women's hockey rivalry are most memorable to them. 

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1998 Olympic Winter Games

February 17, 1998
Nagano, Japan

The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team became the first-ever champion in Olympic women’s ice hockey with a 3-1 win over Canada in the gold-medal game at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Gretchen Ulion opened the scoring early in the second period before Shelley Looney gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead just over halfway through the final frame. Canadian Danielle Goyette cut the lead to 2-1 with 4:01 to play, but Sandra Whyte tallied an empty-net goal to secure the historic victory for the U.S.

“There was something about seeing the 1998 women’s team bring back the gold medal and how instrumental that was. I honestly found myself dreaming about having a gold medal ever since I saw Cammi Granato win a gold.”-Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho)

2008 IIHF U18 Women's World Championship

January 12, 2008
Calgary, Alberta

The United States and Canada met in the first-ever International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship, where the U.S. U18 Women's National Team defeated Canada, 5-2, to win the inaugural gold medal. Goals from Meagan Mangene, Brooke Ammerman, Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker helped the U.S. open a 4-0 lead halfway through the middle stanza in the gold-medal game. The Canadians cut the lead to 4-2 early in the third period before Amanda Kessel secured gold on a tally with less than eight minutes to play.

“It was an awesome moment to see the Under-18 World Championships be installed and to be a part of the team that brought home gold in the first one was a thrill.” -Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.)

2010 Olympic Winter Games

February 25, 2010
Vancouver, B.C.

After dominating the preliminary round, outscoring opponents by a 31-1 margin over three games, Team USA earned a date with Canada for Olympic gold. In a hard-fought battle in front of what was the largest crowd to witness a female hockey game at the time, the U.S ultimately fell to Canada, 2-0, with U.S. goaltender Jessie Vetter making 27 saves. 

“Even though we ended up falling short and earning silver, it was still an incredible experience to play in that sort of atmosphere for Olympic gold.” -Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.)

2011 IIHF Women's World Championship

April 25, 2011
Zurich, Switzerland

Just a year after earning silver in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. claimed its third straight world title with a 3-2 overtime victory against Canada.  After a tightly contested game and a late Canadian goal, the two teams headed to overtime tied at 2-2. Skating with four players apiece, Hilary Knight buried the game-winner 7:48 into the sudden-death period and the Americans brought home gold.

“The world championship in Switzerland was my first ever with the U.S. Women’s National Team and it was an iconic moment to see Hilary Knight score the game-winner in overtime. It was just so much fun to be a part of.” -Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.)

2014 Olympic Winter Games

February 20, 2014
Sochi, Russia

In yet another showdown for Olympic gold, the U.S. and Canada once again lived up to the rivalry hype. The teams exchanged chances throughout the hard-fought opening period, but it wasn't until halfway through the middle frame that Meghan Duggan gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Alex Carpenter doubled the lead just minutes into the final period. Canada answered with two goals in the final 3:26 to tie the game. In overtime, the Canadians took advantage of a power-play opportunity and ended another chapter in the rivalry with with a power-play goal at 8:10 of the extra period to win gold. 

"I know that for each player it's a loss that they'll never forget. Nothing can take that away but we wanted to do everything within our power to never feel that again and instead feel that joy and experience winning Olympic gold with our teammates in 2018." -Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.)

2017 IIHF Women's World Championship

April 7, 2017
Plymouth, Mich.

Hilary Knight scored the game-winning goal with 9:43 to play in overtime to give the U.S. Women’s National Team it's first gold-medal win on home ice, defeating Canada, 3-2, at USA Hockey Arena. Kacey Bellamy also netted two goals for Team USA.

The victory gave the U.S. Women’s National Team its fourth consecutive world championship and seventh in the past eight competitions. Team USA went undefeated at the tournament for the third consecutive year.

"To capture a gold medal on home soil in front of a sold-out crowd in Plymouth at USA Hockey Arena was incredible." -Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.)

2018 Olympic Winter Games

February 22, 2018
PyeongChang, Korea

For a third-straight Olympics, the U.S. and Canada met in a showdown for gold. Hilary Knight opened the scoring with just 26 seconds to play in the opening period. Canada scored two goals in less than five minutes to snag the lead heading to the second intermission. Monique Lamoureux-Morando netted the equalizer for the U.S. with just 6:21 to play and the teams headed to overtime. After a scoreless 20 minutes, the teams headed to a shootout. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson converted on her attempt with a deke for the ages in the sixth round and Maddie Rooney shut the door on the Canadians to win gold.

The win gave the U.S. its first gold medal since the inaugural tournament in the 1998 Olympic Winter games in Nagano, Japan. 

"That was a dream come true. I remember jumping up and down on my couch in 1998 thinking I want to be just like them. To be able to do it 20 years later was surreal." - Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho)

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