(4/10/13) Update on the big game:
USA 3, Canada 2.
Some losses are loudly attributed to bad calls from suspect officials. By most accounts, this game simply showcased a strong, motivated US team that carried the day.
The Canadians got what they deserved and no one was arguing that. They didn’t play well, they didn’t play their game, they paid the price, and they knew it.
The CBC article had a sidebar showing top three teams over the past 15 years. It’s clear that initial Canadian dominance has taken a tumble in recent years.
The Ottawa Citizen had this quote from player-of-the-game Amanda Kessel (who scored the wining goal and won the main US trophy for best women’s college player):
“You always know that it’s going to be a battle against Canada, and you’re always going to get a great game,” Kessel said. “It feels good. It couldn’t feel any better.”
Radio chatter in Ottawa this morning speaks about how a hockey-mad country, perhaps, puts too much pressure on Canadian teams.
Here’s a reader comment from the Citizen article by Jack McGowan that speaks my mind:
Canada wins silver and not one of them could crack a smile. They played hard, did their best and got outplayed. They accepted their medals grudgingly looking like they could not wait to get off the ice. Coaches and parents could start instilling values like graciousness and sportsmanship along with the skating drills. I was proud to see great hockey on the big rink. 20 years ago did not exist for women. Be proud of your greatness gold, silver bronze or naught. Canada is just as proud either way!
(My own mini-editorial!) This US/Canadian hockey rivalry could be a great one – if the sour, bitterness was renounced as the unhealthy element it is. I know it’s super old fashioned, but I still believe that corny line ‘it’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’. If you are out-played, say “good game” and mean it. And then gear up to do better next time.
Congratulations to all on the hard-earned results.
(Original post 4/9/13)
The return of baseball, the recent “March madness” basketball frenzy – these are the sports that garner top headlines this time of year.
But one of the more heated sports rivalries is back tonight as the USA and Canada meet for the 15th straight time for supremacy in women’s ice hockey. That IIHF game takes place at 7:30 pm at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
American forward Hilary Knight didn’t mince her words on Monday.
“Whenever we match up against each other there is blood in the water and the sharks are out,” Knight said on a day of semifinal action at the 2013 world women’s hockey championships.
Also speaking to CBC, Canada’s Rebecca Johnston echoed the intensity of this rivalry: “It may not be pretty all the time but it will be a good game.”
Women’s hockey often struggles for media attention. Apart from the Olympics, this is probably as big as it gets. (And women’s ice hockey has to wonder about looking good in IOC eyes to stay on the Olympic line up too, as detailed in this Globe and Mail article.)
Looking for local ties to this game I did find a Kelly Steadman of Plattsburgh, NY on the US women’s team roster.
Any more names connected to our listening area that should be mentioned?
In any event, good luck to all and may the best team earn the gold.