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USA vs. Canada, Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game: Final Thoughts, Prediction, and How To Watch

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Team USA’s Eagles look to take home the gold

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 10 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The United States and Canada are always on a collision course when playing in a women’s hockey tournament, and the 24th Olympic Winter Games has been no exception. Everything leading up to the gold medal game has taken place pretty much as expected, with Team USA and Hockey Canada running through their competition pretty much unopposed — apart from when playing each other.

There are three players and one coach representing Boston College on Team USA. Alex Carpenter ‘16, Megan Keller ‘19, and Cayla Barnes ‘23 are joined by BC Associate Head Coach Courtney Kennedy behind the bench in Beijing, and they’ll look to bring home a second straight women’s hockey Olympic gold for the United States.

WHO

The Dominion of Canada (6-0-0)
vs. The United States of America (5-1-0)

WHAT

The Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games

WHERE

Wukesong Sports Center
Beijing, China

WHEN

Boston Time:
February 16th, 2022
11:10pm EST

Local Time (China):
February 17th, 2022
12:10pm China Standard Time

HOW TO WATCH

The game will be broadcast live on NBC

EARLY ROUNDS RECAP

Looking at the scores, you’d think that Team USA’s results have been somewhat underwhelming given that they are one of the world’s two elite teams. In particular, the two goal loss to Canada was annoying, though it didn’t carry any real significance, and the quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic was pretty alarming given that the Czechs came out of the lower-tier B group and the game was tied 1-1 in the third period.

But when you look at the extent to which Team USA has been in control of their games, There isn’t quite as much to worry about. That Czech game was a wild one with the Americans outshooting their opponent a whopping 59-6 (including 18-0 (!) in the first period), and the prelims loss to Canada was surprisingly more of the same with Team USA dominant in possession with a 53-27 shot advantage. The USA’s issues in this tournament have mostly come from struggles on the power play and a (relative) inability to take advantage of the chances they’ve been able to create, but at a minimum the speed and skill have certainly been there.

Canada’s run to the gold medal game has been much more along the lines of what you’d expect to see — absolute domination of every team other than the USA, and a 4-2 win over the Americans in the prelims as the icing on top. They’ve scored ten goals in all but two of their games (vs. USA and vs. ROC) and have pretty much been a total buzzsaw from the first drop of the puck.

Might USA’s relatively tougher battles along the way help them in what will almost certainly be a slog of a gold medal game? We’ll find out soon enough...

EAGLES ON THE ICE

Boston College’s skaters have played a huge role in Team USA’s successes so far. The more in-your-face name has been Alex Carpenter, as she’s second on the team in goal scoring with four tallies over the course of the tournament, but defenders Megan Keller and Cayla Barnes have been arguably the most utilized players on the USA roster. Keller leads the entire team in +/- with a +10 (+10 and -0), and Cayla Barnes scored her first Olympic goal in the semifinal against Finland to go along with her team-leading 5 assists.

The Eagles have had a huge tournament, and they’ll certainly will have been worth their weight in gold if the USA can win tonight.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Apple Pie

God bless America.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

God Bless America

DADGUM IT I SAID GOD BLESS AMERICA!

PREDICTION

It’s been a tournament of two different elite teams playing two different styles. Team USA has won their games by choking the life out of their opponents and dominating possession. Hockey Canada’s offense has been more of a blitzkrieg, scoring goals in bunches and being more lethal with their shots. What this is going to come down to is whether the United States can get the puck in the net rather than at the net with all the time they’re going to be in Canada’s end. They will need to minimize Canadian rushes the other way, and will need to get at least one score on the power play.

It seems obvious to pretty much all of us that the game is going to overtime, and... oh, baby, buckle up if it does:

I will absolutely take USA’s skill and speed on the open ice if and when this game gets past the end of regulation. Give me an Alex Carpenter goal four minutes into overtime to win the gold medal for Team USA, 4-3.