It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for.
Don’t get us wrong, this has been one hell of a tournament, from Switzerland’s stunning offense to Sweden’s epic collapse to a pleasantly surprising Japan and an incredibly close bronze-medal matchup.
But here we are for all the marbles - USA and Canada.
Do you have everything you need for tonight’s game? We can’t help with your emotional state (we’re a wreck too, ok, we’ve had four years to prepare and we still aren’t ready) but we can tell you how to watch, when to watch, and who to watch. Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s gold medal game.
HOW TO WATCH
Game time: 11:10 p.m. ET
USA: NBCSN (you can also stream from NBC’s website here)
Canada: TSN (you can also stream from TSN’s website here)
At the beginning of the Olympic tournament, we previewed every team and looked at their chances. Here’s what we had to say about Canada and USA:
Hannah Bevis wrote about the uncertainty surrounding Team USA and their new-ish head coach Robb Stauber. This is a team that’s loaded with talent but has been streaky, at best. Can they put it together tonight?
Jared Book wrote about Canada, winner of the last two Olympics thanks to Marie-Philip Poulin, also known as Captain Clutch. But though they’ve found success at the Olympic level, they’ve struggled in every other major international event- it’s been five years since they won a World Championship. Can they keep their Olympic streak alive?
But that was then and this is now.
The two teams met once in preliminary play, where Canada beat the United States with a final score of 2-1. It was a tight game that we’ve come to expect from the two powerhouses. One surprise - Shannon Szabados was not in net for Canada. Instead, Genevieve Lacasse put on a show, stopping 44 shots as the USA outshot Canada 45-23. But Canada won the faceoff battle and scored once on the power play, while the United States couldn’t capitalize with the advantage.
Expect Maddie Rooney in net for the US and Szabados in net for Canada. It’s the rookie against the veteran- Rooney was on the last World Championship team for the US but didn’t see much ice time (teammate Nicole Hensley, who will likely back her up, played in that gold medal game). Szabados is now in her third Olympic games with two gold medals to her name and a laundry list of other awards.
What can we expect? The unexpected. These teams are chock full of talent and anyone could have a breakout game. But we’ve got a few players to keep a closer eye on...
Mélodie Daoust (CAN) - Daoust leads Team Canada in points with three goals and three assists in the tournament. Amazingly, all six of Daoust’s points have been primary and five of them have come at even strength. She hasn’t been a high-volume shooter in PyeongChang, but she’s a player that Team USA must watch closely. She saw 19:09 TOI the last time these two teams played; more than any other Canadian forward.
Rebecca Johnston (CAN) - Johnston has three goals and two primary assists for Canada heading into tonight’s gold medal game. Like Daoust, Johnston has made her biggest impact for at even strength, but she’s also been a factor on Canada’s power play. The big forward leads Canada in shots on goal by a wide margin. Johnston is averaging a staggering 5.5 shots per game thus far.
Marie-Philip Poulin (CAN) - Poulin is always a must-watch player when these rivals share the same ice surface. Canada’s captain is one of 15 players with five points or more in PyeongChang. The sensationally skilled center played nearly 19 minutes when USA and Canada played in the preliminary stage of the tournament. Poulin could see even more ice time tonight. She is going to be a factor because she always is. She’s that good. And Team USA knows it.
Dani Cameranesi (USA) - Did you expect Cameranesi to be Team USA’s leading scorer before the gold medal game? Yeah, we didn’t either. The 22-year-old is the only player on the USWNT with more than four points. Cameranesi is coming off of a huge three point game (two goals, one assist) against Finland in the semifinals. She won’t see as much ice time as Kendall Coyne, Hilary Knight, and Brianna Decker, but expect her to make a difference.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (USA) - Jocelyne Lamoureux is tied with Cameranesi for the team lead in goals, but unlike Cameranesi she doesn’t have an empty-netter. J-Lam has been brilliant in the 2018 Olympics, but the last time the Minnesota Whitecaps star played Canada she came up short on a penalty shot. Expect her to play with an even bigger chip on her shoulder than usual tonight. Is that even possible? We will soon find out.
Please use this as your open thread for tonight’s historic game. Let’s do this.