The United States and the Russian Olympic Committee both got their 2022 Olympics off to a strong start with emphatic wins in the preliminary round, but now the two teams will set their sights on one another as they prepare to do battle on Saturday.
For the American squad, Thursday’s game against Finland was a stern test against the reigning bronze medalists, but thanks to huge efforts from Alex Carpenter and Kendall Coyne Schofield, the United States picked up a 5-2 victory.
The ROC also scored five goals in their opener, securing a 5-2 win over Switzerland. Polina Bolgareva scored a hat trick for the Russian squad, and Alexandra Vafina and Fanuza Kadirova each registered a pair of assists in the victory.
Now, the two teams will square off for the third time in the last four Olympics, and although the two nations are among the strongest hockey powers in the world, the series has been incredibly lopsided in favor of the Americans.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Here’s how the previous two meetings went down:
2018 Preliminary Round - USA 5, OAR 0
Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson scored a pair of goals and added an assist, and Gigi Marvin scored a goal and had an assist of her own as the American squad notched a shutout 5-0 victory in preliminary round action in PyeongChang.
Nicole Hensley made 13 saves in the shutout win.
2010 Preliminary Round: USA 13, Russia 0
The Russian squad managed just seven shots on goal as the United States put together one of its most dominant performances on the Olympic stage.
Jenny Potter picked up a hat trick with three goals in the game, and Natalie Darwitz had a five-point night as she netted two goals and dished out three assists in the drubbing.
Hilary Knight, now playing in her fourth Olympics for the United States, had a huge game in that 2010 tilt, with four assists to her credit.
Puck drop between the United States and the ROC is set for 7:10 a.m., and the game can be seen on USA Network and Peacock.
Don’t miss the most exciting moments of the Winter Olympics in Beijing! Sign up for our Olympics newsletter.