Women’s hockey stars in Canada and the US reunite

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Less than a month after the women’s Olympic hockey gold clash in Beijing, Canada and the United States will meet again in a Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association game in Pittsburgh. The PWHPA and the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins will host a Rivalry Rematch March 12 at PPG Paints Arena.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored twice in the 3-2 win over USA in the Olympic final, Tournament Most Valuable Player Brianne Jenner, top scorer Sarah Nurse and Natalie Spooner are among Canada’s squad for the game.

Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hilary Knight, Amanda Kessel and goaltender Alex Cavallini lead the USA squad.

The February 17 Olympic gold medal game averaged 3.54 million viewers on NBC and 1.3 million on CBC.

“There is no doubt that these athletes influenced and advanced the sport of ice hockey for girls, not just in Pittsburgh but across North America,” Dave Morehouse, Penguins president and chief executive officer, said in a statement Tuesday.

The majority of the Canadian and American teams’ players are affiliated with the PWHPA, which was formed after the collapse of the Canadian Women‘s Hockey League in 2019.

The goal of the PWHPA is a sustainable, professional women’s league that pays a living wage and offers the competitive support that male professionals receive.

Showcase games and tournaments that have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resumed.

“This rivalry is one of the most storied in all sports and we are thrilled that the Pittsburgh Penguins gave fans the opportunity to watch these women fight again,” said PWHPA Leader Jayna Hefford.

“It’s no secret that the past few years have been difficult for women’s hockey, but these players proved in Beijing that they have the tremendous ability to push through any challenge and play some of the best hockey players the sport has ever seen .

“This second leg will be an entertaining experience not only for the players themselves, but also for the fans, the Pittsburgh community and women’s hockey in general.”

Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager Cammi Granato and 2018 Olympian Emily Matheson will sit behind the US bench in Pittsburgh.

Hefford, a Hockey Hall of Famer, and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will coach the Canadian team. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet One.

The PWHPA and the Washington Capitals are co-hosting a four-team showcase tournament Friday through Sunday in Arlington, Virginia, featuring clubs from Toronto, Calgary, Boston and Minnesota.

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