Despite the fact that the men get most of the attention, the women’s USA-Canada hockey rivalry is arguably more intense. Since women’s hockey was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998 the United States and Canada have faced off in three of the four gold medal games. However since the Team USA won in 1998 the Canadians have reeled off three straight gold medals.
During a pre-Olympic exhibition game over the weekend in Grand Forks, North Dakota the U.S. women’s team put up a 4-1 beat down over Team Canada — who are the favorite heading into Sochi.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first period Team USA rallied for 4 unanswered goals in route to a dominating 4-1 victory.
But it wouldn’t be a rivalry if tempers didn’t flare, and after a Canadian player made a run at the US goaltender with merely seven seconds left in the third period, Team USA and Team Canada’s fists started flying.
Everyone on the ice seemed to get involved as the referees struggled to break up the melee.
The referees were forced to hand down 10 fighting major penalties in the waning seconds of a game that was supposed to be a friendly exhibition match.
But considering this is the second brawl between the two teams since October and the third since 2010 it seems there is rarely anything “friendly” between the two teams.
But one thing is for sure, Team USA-Team Canada women’s hockey is going to be must watch TV in Sochi.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article had the incorrect year of when women’s ice hockey became an official Olympic sport. The first year women’s ice hockey was an Olympic sport was 1998.