Jesse Compher during the women's ice hockey preliminary round against Team Switzerland at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 6, 2022 in Beijing.
A deep rivalry will be renewed when the U.S. and Canada meet Sunday in the gold-medal game of the IIHF Women’s World Championship.
The U.S. has played in the title game of every world championship since the event began in 1990, facing Canada in all but one of those games.
“To me, U.S. versus Canada is the best game you can watch in our sport. And it's the one that everybody is gearing up for,” said Katie Crowley, a three-time Olympian and current Boston College coach who also participated in six world championships from 1997-2005.
Sunday’s opening faceoff is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.
The matchup has a history of hard-fought contests. In 31 meetings at the world championship, the U.S. has won 16 times, but Canada holds the edge in gold medals with 11 to the Americans’ nine.
It has been just seven months since Canada took home the gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 with a 3-2 win over the Americans and a year since Canada won gold at the 2021 world championships with a 3-2 overtime victory.
Those losses are what drove the Americans to get better, especially on the hardest days, said U.S. forward Jesse Compher.
“It's not what any of us wanted and I think that that's just fueled our fire every single day,” said Compher, a 2022 Olympian from Northbrook, Illinois. “That's something that you keep in the back of your head when you're working out when you're skating every single day. So to bring that fire and to keep working every day, I think that that's just going to make us that much better when we step on the ice tomorrow (Sunday).”
It will be the first medal-round game for new U.S. coach John Wroblewski, who got his first taste of the rivalry Tuesday when Team USA defeated Canada 5-2 in the preliminary round.
“When that puck drops, the plan goes out the window and their instincts take over,” Wroblewski said.