Olympic Women's Ice Hockey: Canada Live Dog vs. USA for Gold

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Team Canada and Team USA boast the best women's ice hockey teams on the planet, so it's not surprising that these two Olympic powers are meeting in the gold-medal game Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET in PyeongChang.

Team USA vs. Team Canada Women's HockeyFree Olympic Pick: Team Canada +100Best Line offered: 5Dimes

Team USA has blistered the competition in these Olympics, but their counterparts by way of the Great White North have done just a tiny bit better. Consider for a moment that the Americans defeated a talented Finnish team by the score of 3-1. The Canadians took that up a notch and vanquished the Fins 4-1 just a few days later. Team USA followed that victory up with a stunning 5-0 win over the Russians only to have Team Canada match that identical score.

In their only meeting of the tournament, the Canadians edged the Americans 2-1, and by virtue of that victory, took the top spot in Group A while USA settled for second. Team Canada ended the qualifying round with a +9 goal differential vs. a +6 for Team USA. It all adds up to one team being ever so slightly better than the other.

But before we get too carried away, let's not forget that the Americans defeated Finland for a second time after initially handing them a 3-1 defeat. In the semifinal round, Team USA punctuated its earlier win with an even more impressive 5-0 shutout of the Fins and charges into this gold-medal game with a full head of steam. But what did Team Canada do in its semifinal appearance you might ask? The following day, the Canadians throttled the Russians by the same 5-0 score in which they defeated them earlier in the tournament.

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Last practice ✅... Next stop gold-medal game! 🏒 #TeamCanada #BelieveWeCan #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/GkE4okSvoi

— Team Canada Women (@HC_Women) February 21, 2018
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Team Canada the Underdog?

After reviewing the Olympic odds on this matchup, one would easily be led to believe that Canada would be at least a slight favorite here. However, after glancing at 5Dimes I found that it is, in fact, Team USA installed as a -130 favorite over the only team to have defeated them at the Olympics thus far. In addition, this will be the fifth time over the last six Games these teams have met in the gold-medal game. Team USA won the first encounter in 1998 but subsequently Canada has dominated, defeating the Americans in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

Although my heart belongs to Lady Liberty, my mind is singing "O Canada"! The appeal of Team Canada is that it clearly is a more cohesive team whose goal is always opting for quality opportunities as opposed to sheer quantity. Team USA relies on the individual to optimize her skills and make her own way as much as possible while Canada is team first, second and last. Finally, the Canadians have two veteran goaltenders, while the Americans will rely solely on Olympic rookie Maddie Rooney. Although this will be close, we see too many check marks for Team Canada and will therefore back the slight underdog in our Olympic picks tonight.

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