This is the one we were all pulling for when the Games started and just after 11 o'clock tonight, we get our wish. The United States takes on Canada for the gold medal. These two squads absolutely hate each other on the ice. If you've ever chatted with a player from either side, you can see their rage-filled eyes light up when you mention their neighbor.
The Americans, of course, are the defending goal medalists after stunning the canucks late in South Korea four years ago. 13 players on Canada suffered that loss and will be out for payback. This will be the sixth time in seven Olympics that the North American rivals will face off for Olympic gold. Canada has won the gold four times and the U.S. has won twice.
But it's not like these teams only meet every few years in large-scale international competition or roughly every other year like NHL rivals. The U.S. women and Canadian women play each other pretty frequently in exhibitions on barnstorming tours and other events, keeping the hate fresh. So they're sick of each other and now get to settle it all for gold.
To repeat, the American ladies will need to solve Canadian goalie Ann-Renée Desbien. She was stellar in their preliminary round game stopping 51 shots in Canada's 4-2 win. After beating the Finns in the semis, I'd think that the U.S. will go back to Alex Cavallini in net. They'll also need to neutralize Canada's high-powered offensive attack that has already tallied a record 54 goals. Sarah Nurse's 16 points in a single tourney is just one back of Hayley Wickenheiser's record of 17.
If you're looking to support your nation in a (responsibly) financial sense, Canada is -215 and the U.S. is +175 in the Barstool Sportsbook. The total is 5.
I don't think Canada will need to make up any stories to get fired up for this one. Should be another fantastic game. It's on NBC at 11:10PM.
Let's go, ladies.