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2022 Beijing Olympics How to Watch: USA v Canada

It’s the big game but not The Big Game

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 3 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time for the best rivalry in all of sports forever and always. Hard stop.

How to Watch

  • U.S. viewers: 11:10 p.m. ET on USA Network, Peacock, and NBCOlympics.com
  • Canadian viewers: 11:10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, TSN1/4, CBC.ca

What to Watch For

Who’s in net

Both countries have strong goaltenders in contention.

So far, the US has played all three of their ‘tendies. Alex Rigsby Cavallini and Nicole Hensley both pitched shutouts in their appearances while Maddie Rooney allowed two goals. It’s not like Rooney played bad. It was their first game in the Olympics and to be honest, the whole team didn’t look great. In my opinion, it’s truly a toss up who they’ll go with tonight.

For Canada, Ann-Renee Desbiens has played two of their three games with Emerance Maschmeyer playing their third - and most recent - preliminary game. Their third goaltender, Kristen Campbell, hasn’t dressed yet, and probably won’t today. Expect Desbiens to get the start tonight.

This is all especially important given the scoring disparities between the two teams so far. Canada has scored 29 goals with 12 different players finding the back of the net. Meanwhile, the US has only scored 18 with only nine players scoring.

What’s the history

It’s an open secret that these preliminary games don’t mean a ton but bragging rights. Everyone from Group A advances. The real question here is will they come in first or second in Group A. I was interested, however, if these games predicted anything about the eventual medal round games between these two teams. So I looked back at the last four major tournaments.

  • 2021 Worlds - Canada won prelim game 5-1, Canada won gold 3-2 OT
  • 2019 Worlds - USA won prelim game 3-2, USA won gold 2-1 over Finland (Canada did not make it to gold medal game)
  • 2018 Olympics - Canada won prelim game 2-1, USA won gold 3-2 SO
  • 2017 Worlds - USA won prelim game 2-0, USA won gold 3-2 OT

Saying there’s a pattern is a stretch, but it’s at least interesting to see it laid out. Will history repeat itself this year? Who know.

Youths!

Dang the youths are all right!

Canadian Sarah Fillier’s first Olympics has proven she’s a superstar. The forward who plays NCAA hockey at Princeton is currently leading all players in goals scored with five in three games, her first three Olympic games ever mind you.

Canadian defender Claire Thompson is also in her first Olympics and is currently leading +/- with +11. The next closest player is, no shocker here, Fillier at +9. She’s also tied for second in assists at 5. The other player with 5 - Marie-Philip Poulin. Some good company there.

US defender Savannah Harmon isn’t quite as young as the two Canadians, but it is her first Olympics and she’s having herself the Games as well. Harmon is currently leading the team in assists with 4 and tied for the highest plus/minus with +7.

US forward Jesse Compher came out a little quiet but in the last two games has three goals, tying her for first on the team with Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter. Add in an assist and her four goals has her tied for third on the team in points.