By Maggie Hsu, September 30 2022—
Canada has always had an epic rivalry with the United States in international sports. Some of the most intense matches happen on the ice hockey rink between the women’s teams. Both teams are dominant forces in hockey and are perennial favourites to compete for the gold medal at every international competition. These two national programs have been so dominant that no other team has won a gold medal outside of these two heavyweights of Women’s hockey.
As of Sept. 4, 2022 Team Canada has won 17 gold medals, including five Olympic golds, out of the total of 28 tournaments — with Team USA claiming the other 11 gold medals. The 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championships was what many considered the rematch of multiple battles for gold, as a majority of both teams were returning members from their 2021 IIHF World’s teams as well as their 2022 Olympic teams.
Team Canada was revealed after an 11-day selection camp held in Calgary prior to the tournament, boasting 19 players who won gold in the previous IIHF Women’s World Championship in Calgary as well as 18 players from the gold medal winning 2022 Olympic team. On the other side, Team USA also had 18 players return from their recent 2022 Olympic team and 17 players from the previous 2021 World’s team. The two previous tournaments were won by Canada, making Team USA hungry to break that streak and take gold home with them.
The aggression could be seen at every scramble for the puck in the crease and every whistle. Team USA had the greatest opportunities to generate some offense in the opening period. Canada lost a defensive zone possession, allowing Kendall Coyne Schofield to walk in and give Canadian goalie, Ann-Renée Desbiens, her first test of this final game. Alex Carpenter managed to get a shot past Desbiens but could not beat the crossbar. The border rivals came out of the first period scoreless despite Canada having two opportunities on the powerplay to get onto the scoreboard.
The second period saw a shift in energy towards Team Canada as Sarah Nurse snuck by the American offense, giving Canada a great opportunity to score but could not beat Team USA’s Nicole Hensley in net. The rebound from this shot was taken up by Canadian forward, Sarah Fillier, as she took a shot from the blue line, giving Emily Clark the rebound but again, Hensley could not be beaten as she stood strong protecting the net.
At this point, both goalies were proving that they would be hard to crack but it was Team Canada that struck first halfway through the second period as former Calgary Inferno and University of Calgary Masters graduate, Brianne Jenner, connected with Marie-Philip Poulin and Ella Shelton. This was Jenner’s 100th international point, putting her at 13th in all-time scoring with the Women’s National Team.
Barely a minute later, Jenner would beat Hensley again for a powerplay goal as she received a pass from Fillier and Nurse, putting Team Canada in a comfortable position to leave the tournament with a gold medal. However, Jenner would take an interference call, putting the Americans on the powerplay and an opportunity to fight back. With 21 seconds left in the third period, Abby Roque would beat Desbiens for a powerplay goal to put the Americans within a goal away from evening up the score.
The third period went scoreless as well but neither team would end the game quietly. Both teams would take turns on the powerplay. Team USA had many more chances to even up the score but Ann-Renée Desbiens, nicknamed “The Great Wall of China” after her incredible showing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, kept the puck out of the net to seal Canada’s 17th international gold medal and 12th World Championship gold.
The Women’s World Championship will move to Canada in 2023. The host city has not been determined quite yet but one thing’s for certain — Canada and USA will be the match-up to keep an eye out for. Team USA will be looking to break Canada’s golden streak while Team Canada will be going for the three-peat.