Women's Olympic hockey stars inspiring more girls to play the game

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Team USA defeated Team Canada 3-2 in the 2018 women's olympic hockey gold medal game.

Team captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored two late goals to give Canada a 3-2 overtime win. For the 12th year in a row, the gold medal at a major women's hockey global tournament (Olympics or World Championships) will come down to a matchup between the Americans and Canadians, who meet at the Gangneung Hockey Centre on Wednesday night (Thursday afternoon in Pyeongchang).

Poulin, scorer of both goals in Canada's 2-0 win over the U.S.in the 2010 Vancouver final, netted another gold medal victor on a powerplay in extra time.

It only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in their way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano in 1998.

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The game came down to 20 minutes of scoreless overtime, and then finally to a shootout, where it took six attempts for the Americans to finally prevail. "I was probably in the crib watching that game", American goaltender Maddie Rooney said.

"As a player, I've been on the national team before, I've been to the Olympics, this is our duty to give back to the game".

Canada is looking for a third straight Olympic gold medal, though the 2010 and 2014 titles were won with rosters stocked with National Hockey League talent.

Canada also defeated the Americans 2-1 in the preliminary round in Pyeongchang, but the USA outshot Canada 45-23. "I am just so thankful for the outcome". They outshot their rival 45-23 in last week's loss, and players say they were just a couple of bounces away from winning.

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Knight gave the USA a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados' pads to give the Americans a jolt of energy. As the USA added three skaters to its national team that month, putting them three over the Olympic roster size, there was concern one or both twins could be cut. If Canada scores early (they were up 2-1 with seven minutes left), just stay in it and have confidence in your preparation. And Canada came back, because this game is everything.

In addition to being able to watch the NBCSN simulcast via the above streaming services, you can also watch the game-or any other game-live on your computer via NBCOlympics.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NBC Sports app.

The women's tournament has largely been a formality to get to this point, with the Canadians and Americans cruising past their European opponents.

"It's going to be really physical, I think we all know", Poulin said. "We were so dominant in 2002, but we pretty much wanted it so badly that we were choking it".

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The rivalry between the USA and Canada has been brewing for two decades to become one of the most intense in global sports.

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