Worlds 2022 Gold Medal Game Preview: USA vs. Canada

Here we are again, another world championship loss, another USA/Canada gold medal game.

United States team

This is perhaps one of the most vibrant and dominant US rosters we’ve seen in quite some time. Heading into the tournament, there was certainly a giant Brianna Decker-sized hole in the roster as she is still recovering from her injury sustained in this year’s Olympics, but this team has already proven that they had taken over and more.

how they got here

Team USA has won the gold medal game in every World Championship appearance since this tournament began. They arrived here as they always arrive here, with excellent defense and well past their opponents. This time around, in six games, the Americans outscored their opponents 52-5. The closest match being a first round game with Canada which they came from behind to win 5-2.

Most recently Team USA is coming off a 10-1 win over Czechia with goals from Taylor Heise (2), Amanda Kessel (3), Hilary Knight (2), Jesse Compher, Hayley Scamurra and Caroline Harvey. Klara Hymlarova was the Czechs’ lone scorer after a goalkeeper swap after the first half calmed them down a bit.

Player to watch

You have Hilary Knight breaking the all-time Worlds points record, and you have Amanda Kessel having, statistically, her best Worlds ever, but all eyes have been and should be on rookie Taylor Heise. It’s only her first time on this list, but she’s dangerously close to breaking the single-tournament points record and has just been a scoring machine, while forcing turnovers and penalties left and back. right. Heise has had a place on this list for a long time, and it won’t be long before she has a gold medal to show for it.

key to winning

In many of their encounters in this tournament, the Americans haven’t had much trouble, but if I had to be picky, I’d point out how careful they have to be when taking penalties. Typically they have a big enough cushion to sustain a power play goal against them or two, but against Canada they won’t lead 6-0 after the first period. Also, this match will have a higher intensity than their previous match earlier in the tournament. Canada will come out with a vengeance, so the United States should focus on trying to score first and keep the shots coming.

Team Canada

Over the past year, Team Canada has won gold at the 2021 Worlds and the 2022 Olympics. They will have another shot in this year’s gold medal game against the United States. After nearly a decade of runners-up to Team USA at Worlds, they have the chance to start a streak.

how they got here

It’s not necessarily a surprise that Canada is here, especially after the year they’ve had. Their roster is pretty much the same as they rolled out at the Olympics with some minor tweaks to account for players taking time off. This bodes well considering they won the Olympics.

Canada lost just one game in the preliminary round, a 5-2 loss to Team USA. The Americans were the better team that day and gave Team Canada its first real scare of the tournament. They won all their other preliminary matches quite easily. It was the same in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, beating Sweden and Switzerland 3-0 and 8-1 respectively.

Player to watch

Brianne Jenner is one point away from reaching 100 points with the Senior National Team.

Jenner is also chronically underrated. She’s always been a bit in the shadow of the Team Canada superstars, but she’s been an important part of this team for a very long time. She works hard and steps in at the big times. You don’t score 99 points for Team Canada without being good enough at hockey.

key to winning

For Canada, the key to victory is simple. Do not lose.

One of the most frustrating things about Team Canada over the past few years has been their tendency to make mistakes in the game and even in tournaments. They fought as much as they were beaten by their opponents.

They have to be careful how many penalties they take and how many scoring chances they allow, two things they know how to do. They can’t win this game beating their opponent 50-5 like they did in the preliminary round, this game needs more defense than that.

If Canada loses this match, they will do it on their side.