USA Women's Hockey Team Is Now the Great American Olympic Hope

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The United States players celebrate after the semifinal round of the women's hockey game against Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Monday in Gangneung, South Korea.The United States won 5-0.

"A battle for the ages, as usual", Canada's Brianne Jenner said.

"It's the biggest stage".

"On one hand it's like any other hockey tournament". It will be the fifth time the two teams have faced each other in the Olympic final since women's hockey was introduced to the program at the 1998 Nagano Games.

For context, Team USA won 28 medals four years ago in Sochi, to Norway's 26. Canada also had a secret weapon going into the game: a lucky loonie had been embedded at centre ice. They know when women's hockey was first contested at the 1998 Olympics, the United States topped Canada.

Maddie Rooney, 20, has started three games for the Americans in Pyeongchang and is their likely starter.

"The losses have taught me a lot about who I am as a person, who we are as a team", Knight said.

The teams have met in all but one Olympic or world final, each team beating the other 11 times. If they go ahead early, it would give them a major boost, which could potentially see them to a surprise medal. "This is the game we've been dreaming of and to have another opportunity to get back here, it's huge". She will need a handful of key saves for the Americans to win. "We're just excited to play them (U.S.)". "We looked ourselves in the mirror and figured out what we can take from it".

"We certainly are going to take that experience and build off it because we certainly do feel confident where we're at". We've learned from things in the past but we're looking forward.

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Americans besides the women's hockey team could win gold.

"Canada's Olympians - both past and present - inspire our nation to not only come together to support our athletes, but also to get involved in sport and active, healthy lifestyles", said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation.

The Canadian hegemony extends to the masculine where they won 9 titles in 15 participations.

"I think they're the most skilled in the world", she said. The Canadians, she says, play a superior team game, are always prepared and have a well-established system that's tough to beat.

The Korean team's head coach, the Canadian Sarah Murray, broke into tears as she watched her players salute the crowd and hugged North Korean coach Pak Chul ho. Once the puck drops, it's like you are on autopilot.

There will be no silver medal awarded.

"Our team is the closest it has ever been, we're like a family", she said.

Canada players salute the crowd after their win over the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation in the Olympic semifinals.