Intense rivalry on full display as women’s hockey tournament begins – NBC Chicago

The women’s hockey rivalry between the United States and Canada will be on full display at the 2022 Winter Olympics, and this year’s Team USA is full of homegrown stars who will be aiming to prevent Team Canada from climbing back to the top of the game. medal stand.

The reigning Olympic champions, Team USA, will once again look to defeat their northern rivals, Canada, in a battle that has been brewing on the world stage for years.

This year’s lineup will feature veterans and newcomers to the Olympic scene, with six team members residing in the Chicago area.

The 2022 Games will take the ice for Abbey Murphy from Evergreen Park; Hilary Knight, who grew up in Lake Forest, Jesse Compher of Northbrook; Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne Schofield; and Megan Bozek of Buffalo Grove.

This year’s team will hope to continue the dominance gained at the 2018 Games, when the United States snapped a gold medal winning streak for Canada.

As an Olympic gold medalist in ice hockey, Hilary Knight is used to playing with an advantage, literally skating on it in fact. But put her on another kind of advantage, on a fashion show, and suddenly she’s on thin ice.

The two women’s hockey teams are no strangers when it comes to competing for international glory. With six Olympic medals on each end, the teams have established themselves as powerhouses in the sport.

At the 2014 Sochi Games, Team USA lost to Canada 3-2 in overtime. The United States won silver for the second straight time and Canada won its fourth consecutive gold medal.

Hillary Knight, a forward from Lake Forest, Ill., recalled failing to break the Canadiens’ reign.

“The way we lost, kind of heartbreaking, heartbreaking,” Knight said. “I don’t even know if we’ve completely moved on to be honest.”

Coyne Schofield was one of seven players from the 2014 squad who continued their Olympic campaign in 2018 in PyeongChang. Coyne Schofield said veterans and new members alike understood what they had the opportunity to accomplish in their next appearance at the Games, and they finally made it happen.

For the first time in 20 years, the Americans won the gold medal, beating Canada in spectacular fashion. Their shootout win validated everyone’s contributions to the team and was a defining moment for a generation of stars.

“It’s one of those things you’ll remember forever,” said Knight, who scored the opening goal of the win.

“As an Olympian, as a Paralympian, it’s your whole life,” added Coyne Schofield. “A lot of people think it’s every four years, but it’s every day. You have worked for this moment all your life.

Coyne Schofield said it won’t be easy for Team USA to repeat history in Beijing, as Team USA has never won back-to-back gold medals in the sport, but knows the road will be equally difficult for Canada.

The team credit their strong bond for their successes so far, and throughout it all, everyone is grateful for the support at home.

“When I’m on the ice, I don’t just represent myself,” Knight said. “It’s definitely part of something bigger than me.”

The United States will drop the puck in their Group A schedule on Thursday with a game against Finland. The Finnish team won the bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and will give the American team a tough battle in their opening game.

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