Women's hockey final just one of several Canada-U.S. Olympic medal clashes

Hockey, curling, bobsleigh, speed skating highlight busy few days for North American rivals

Women's hockey final just one of several Canada-U.S. Olympic medal clashes
Canada's Kevin Koe, left, will face American skip John Shuster in the men's curling final, while the Canadian women battle the U.S. for hockey gold. © CBC Sports

By Amy Cleveland, CBC Sports

A bit of not-so-neighbourly Olympic competition is happening between Canada and the United States as the North American nations are going head-to-head in several key medal events in Pyeongchang, South Korea, over the next few days.

In the marquee moment, Canada will continue its epic hockey rivalry with the American women in the gold-medal game on Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. ET. While both are guaranteed a spot on the podium, neither team will be playing for anything less than the Olympic title. 

Here are the key battles to look out for: 

Canada's drive for 5

Since its Olympic debut at Nagano in 1998, Canada and the United States have battled for women's hockey supremacy in all but one gold-medal final. The U.S. claimed that first-ever title, but Canada has reigned in the four subsequent championship games.

Canada won the Valentine's Day round-robin match 2-1, but were outplayed by the Americans — getting outshot 45-23 in a game that ended in a skirmish in front of the Canadian net. As always, this will be a must-watch matchup for Canadian hockey fans. 

Koe plays for redemption

With Rachel Homan out of medal contention, Kevin Koe is Canada's only remaining chance at curling hardware. He'll have to get through American skip John Shuster in Thursday's 6 a.m. ET semifinal to clinch a medal. 

Koe, third Marc Kennedy, second Brent Laing and lead Ben Hebert already dropped a round-robin decision to Shuster 9-7. It'll be win or face the prospect of potentially going home empty handed after the bronze-medal game. 

Humphries slides to 3rd-straight podium

Kaillie Humphries was unable to earn her third straight Olympic gold in women's bobsleigh, however she still managed a podium result — finishing in third with new partner Phylicia George.

Humphries' friend and off-season training partner from South of the border, Elana Meyers Taylor, finally beat Humphries in an Olympic race to earn silver. Meyers Taylor also won silver in Sochi four years ago behind Humphries and took bronze in Vancouver.

The Germans reestablished themselves as sliding powerhouses, taking gold after being shut out of medals in the women's event in Sochi — where it was a North American podium sweep with U.S. pilot Jamie Greubel taking bronze. 

Canadians lose bronze

In another medal race Wednesday morning, Canada fell short of women's team pursuit speed skating bronze as the U.S. triumphed. 

Canadian trio Ivanie Blondin, Keri Morrison and Isabelle Weidemann clocked in at two minutes 59.72 seconds, which wasn't enough to trump America's 2:59.27.

Inaugural big air title on the line

Canada has qualified medal-contending snowboarders in both the women's and men's big air final as the discipline makes its Olympic debut. 

While neither nation is guaranteed a medal, both have competitors in the running that have already reached the podium in Pyeongchang in the slopestyle event. 

On the men's side, silver medallist Max Parrot and bronze medallist Mark McMorris will look to earn more hardware alongside teammate Sébastian Toutant. They'll again meet American slopestyle gold medallist Red Gerard Friday at 8 p.m. ET. 

Laurie Blouin claimed slopestyle silver behind American Jamie Anderson last week and will try to upgrade in big air Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.