Canada-U.S. women's hockey rivalry continues in Calgary this weekend
U18 and U22 teams playing a pair of 3-game series at Canada Olympic Park, which wraps on Sunday
Another page in the storied Canada-U.S. women's hockey rivalry will be turned at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary this weekend when the two countries' U-18 and U-22 teams collide in a pair of three-game series.
"They're a little nervous. I think on both sides," said Gina Kingsbury, a former Olympic team member who is now the director for female high performance programs at Hockey Canada.
"The rivalry runs deep in my blood, so I definitely understand what these girls are going through now and how they're feeling. So I think we all share that rivalry, that desire to compete against the Americans."
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The Americans won the opener in both series on Thursday, with the U18s winning 2-1 and the U22s winning 4-1.
There's no games Saturday, then the event wraps up on Sunday with the U22s playing at 10 a.m. and the U18s at 1 p.m.
"It feels like we're playing for a medal every time we play," said Maggie MacEachern, captain of the U18 Canadian squad.
"Whether it's U18, U22 or the Olympic team, everyone wants to be the best on Canada and the U.S."
More than winning, the goal this weekend is to gain valuable experience, said Kingsbury, especially for the U18s, who will compete at the world championship, set for Jan. 6-13 in Obihiro, Japan.
"It's to give our athletes some experience playing against the Americans," she said. "Giving them that critical experience moving into a world championships, moving forward in January, as well as just building their career moving forward in our program."
With files from Anis Heydari