USA Hockey thriving in the 2022 Beijing Olympics

BEIJING — The U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams are thriving in the Beijing Olympics as both squads have emerged as potential gold medal favorites and dominate the competition.

USA Hockey – Women

After defeating Finland 4-1 in the semifinal matchup, the women are finals bound. Following a scoreless first period, Team USA finally got on the board in the second period during a power-play where Hilary Knight connected with Cayla Barnes for a wide-open shot from the right side.

In addition to the goal, Knight also made history, moving into second place for the most Olympic points by an American with 25.

The women will face Canada in a rematch for the gold medal after the Canadians demolished Switzerland 10-3.

In the preliminary round, Canada got the best of the U.S. with a 4-2 victory despite the Americans outshooting them 53-27. Quality shots will undoubtedly be a point of emphasis for the U.S. as they look to defend their 2018 PyeongChang gold medal.

“You know, I think it’s wonderful hockey. It’s the most beautiful rivalry in sports,” Knight said in an interview. “It gets the best and the worst out of both of us at the same time. And it’s just a wonderful game.”

The highly anticipated gold medal game is set for Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 11:10 p.m. ET on NBC.

USA Hockey – Men

There’s something magical about college kids taking the ice for the stars and stripes as the men’s team emerged from group A in the top spot. With victories over China, Canada, and Germany, the U.S. earned a bye into the quarterfinal round and won’t play again until Tuesday.

Despite being the youngest Olympic squad with 15 collegiate players on their roster, the Americans have used speed and physicality to dominate their opponents.

While their victories over China and Germany weren’t necessarily a surprise, their 4-2 win over the Canadians turned a lot of heads. After surrendering a 1-0 lead to Canada less than 90 seconds in, USA scored three unanswered goals. It then orchestrated a fourth to shock the Canadians with their only loss of the tournament.

“There’s a swagger to us right now, and it’s not arrogance,” Head coach David Quinn said in an interview. “It’s, you know, there’s a swagger to us, and there’s a believability that’s gone on here over the last week, and it’s put us in this position.”

The U.S. will now wait to face the winner of the Slovakia-Germany game on Tuesday in the quarterfinal match at 11:10 p.m. ET on the USA Network.

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