Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
In perhaps the best Olympic rivalry this side of Michael Phelps against Chad le Clos, Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a group-stage matchup in the 2018 women’s hockey tournament, which aired live Wednesday night in the United States.
Canada received second-period goals from Meghan Agosta and Sarah Nurse, which was enough of a cushion for goaltender Genevieve Lacasse. In her first start of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Lacasse proved to be the difference as she turned away all but one—Kendall Coyne’s wrister in the opening minute of the third period—of the Americans’ 45 shots on goal.
The Americans unleashed a number of desperation shots in the closing seconds, but Lacasse blocked them all to preserve the heart-pounding win.
Both sides were 2-0 entering this much-anticipated showdown in what was likely a medal-round preview given the history between the two sides.
Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted the 2006 Games were the only time the Americans and Canadians didn’t play for gold at a major tournament since the start of the IIHF Women’s World Championship in 1990 and the start of women’s hockey in the Olympics in 1998.
Team USA is the four-time defending world champions, but Canada is seeking a fifth straight Olympic gold.
“It’s just a preliminary round game in the Olympic tournament Thursday, but it’s like having Ali and Frazier fight on the undercard when everybody knows they’re going to meet again in the main event,” D’Amato wrote.
The tension at the end was far more f