USA looks to build on momentum in Game 3 of the Rivalry Series

The Rivalry Series comes to Seattle

Tonight, at 7 p.m. ET at the Climate Pledge Arena — the home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, the Rivalry Series continues. The game will be available to U.S. viewers on NHL Network and to Canadian viewers on TSN 5.

USA enters tonight’s game with a 2-0-0 record though it’s important to highlight the first victory came in the shootout. As expected, we’ve seen two closely contested games and should be expecting the same tonight even though the cast list is quite a bit different than what we saw at the 2022 Olympics and the 2022 Worlds.

Vets Getting it Done

After two games of action, it’s Alex Carpenter and Hilary Knight leading the way in scoring with 3 points each. We’ve seen a lot of them together at evens, centered by Kelly Pannek, and that trio has been making its mark in this series. On Nov. 15, it was Carpenter who buried the controversial game-winner to lift USA 2-1 over Canada. Carpenter hounded Kristen Campbell who had stopped a big blast from Knight and appeared to push Campbell’s pad off the puck before jamming the puck home for her second primary point of the game.

Campbell and Canada were not happy that the goal stood, but what would these games be without a little bit of controversy? It’s essentially tradition at this point.

According to Hockey Canada’s stats, Team Canada’s top scorer is Marie-Philip Poulin. After two games, she’s the only player on Canada with two or more points. Poulin has struck once on a penalty shot (Game 2) and scored her first goal of the series in the second period of Game 1.

Canada’s Power Play

After two games, Canada is 0-for-11 on the power play and 1-for-2 on penalty shots. One way to look at that 0% success rate on the advantage is a failure to capitalize for a team with a glut of talent and experience. Another way to look at that 0-for-11 is to focus on the 11 chances and two penalty shots and acknowledge that Canada is drawing penalties, which was a big reason why they outpaced USA in shots 36-23 in Game 1 but were smothered to just 20 shots in Game 2.

I think it’s premature to panic about Canada’s power play. All of the ingredients (and medals) are there but I think everyone in that locker room will feel better if they cash in tonight on the big stage of the Climate Pledge Arena.

Next Up

These are just tune-up exhibition games for these programs but the pressure is on for Canada to come away with a win here. After tonight’s game, the next stop of the 2022 Rivalry Series will be on Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada.