Buffalo Grove's Megan Bozek and Kendall Coyne Palos Heights didn't grow up very far away from each other, but the first time they played on the same hockey team was when they joined the U.S. national squad.
Bozek, a defenseman and Coyne, a forward, are hoping to grab a U.S. women's hockey gold medal for the first time since the event debuted at the Olympics.
There's one team standing in their way -- Canada, which has won the last three Olympic gold medals.
"In the back of our minds, it's always Canada," Coyne said.
"Our games against Canada have been battles. Not one game has been easy," Bozek added.
The rivalry is so intense that the last time the teams played, it turned into an episode of the "Bad Girls Club," with a huge brawl breaking out at the end of the game.
Coyne, who's known for her blazing speed, grew up with brothers who encouraged her to take up the game.
"She never went to parties or anything like that. We were in the basement shooting pucks," Kendall's brother, Kevin Coyne, said.
Life was similar for Bozek, a girl amongst boys who was never treated any differently.
"They liked to beat up on me when they were younger, always put me in goal, so I was actually goalie my first year when I was 5 or 6," Bozek said.
"My sister has the hardest slap shot, and maybe my sister throws a baseball harder than me," Megan's brother, Stephen Bozek, said.
One other thing they have in common? Extremely proud families who will be rooting for them in Sochi.
"I don't think it will be really real until we get there and have those American flags wrapped around us, and yes, I'll cry," Megan's mother, Patti Bozek said.
"When I think about it, I just cry. So I try to hold my emotions because it's just pretty unbelievable," Kendall's mother, Lise Coyne, said.
The U.S. women will square off against their Canadian rivals on Feb. 12, their third game of the Olympics.