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The Only Team They Ever (Kind Of, Not Really) Feared: Canada vs. USA in 4 Nations first-place game



Team Canada heads into the gold medal game of the 4 Nations Cup with a 2-1 record and a match-up against a foe it knows all too well.

While the Canadians have had mostly close games (both of their wins, 2-0 against Finland and 3-1 against Sweden, were by a two-goal margin; their loss to the Americans came 3-0), their rival for the medal, the United States, is undefeated through the three-game round robin and has plenty of offense to show for it. They've outscored opponents 16-2; in fact, their closest game was against Canada, and that's not exactly a shock.

The Lamoureux twins, particularly Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, have had themselves a tournament. Jocelyne has four goals and two assists in this tournament, while Monique is right behind her with two goals and three assists. Jessie Vetter, the goaltender the Canadians seem to have figured out during Olympic play, was named Player of the Game for her performance against them Thursday and has been solid between the pipes alongside Alex Rigsby.

Meanwhile, Natalie Spooner has been the offensive force for Team Canada, with three points (two goals, one assist) in three games. Meghan Agosta and Jennifer Wakefield have a goal apiece, as well as Marie-Philip Poulin (who also has two assists in the tournament). Brigette Lacquette and Halli Krzyzaniak have contributed from the blueline, and in net, both Emerance Maschmeyer and Erica Howe have put up impressive performances. Maschmeyer, with the slight lion's share of the work in three games, has posted a .956 save percentage, while Howe has a .917.

The last time the Americans won a gold medal at the 4 Nations Cup was in Finland in 2012, the latter half of back-to-back golds. Since then, it's been all Canada, and they look to make it three straight in Sundsvall on Sunday morning.

For a full recap of previous action, check out Hockey Canada’s game schedule page, plus the recaps of the first two days from the brand-new Victory Press (full disclosure: I also write for this site). The puck drops at 6:30 a.m. Mountain (8:30 Eastern). If you’d like to get up earlier, catch the bronze medal game between Sweden and Finland at 3:30 a.m. (5:30 Eastern). Streaming is available (paid subscription) here, or follow along with live stats via Hockey Canada’s 4 Nations page and the Twitter hashtag #4NationsCup.

by Angelica Rodriguez