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Canada’s hockey women to face U.S. in ‘Rivalry Rematch’ in Pittsburgh

Less than a month after clashing for Olympic women’s hockey gold in Beijing, players on the Canadian and U.S. teams will meet again in a Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association match in Pittsburgh.

The PWHPA and NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins will co-host a Rivalry Rematch on March 12 at PPG Paints Arena.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored twice in a 3-2 victory over the U.S. in the Olympic final, tournament MVP Brianne Jenner, top scorer Sarah Nurse and Natalie Spooner are among players on Canada’s roster for the game.

Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hilary Knight, Amanda Kessel and goaltender Alex Cavallini headline the U.S. roster.

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

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

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

The PWHPA’s goal is a sustainable, professional women’s league that pays a living wage and offers the competitive supports the male pros get.

Showcase games and tournaments that were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic have resumed.

“This rivalry is one of the most storied in all of sports and we’re thrilled that the Pittsburgh Penguins have provided the opportunity for fans to watch these women battle it out, once 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 fight through every challenge and play some of the best hockey the sport has ever seen.

“This rematch will be a fun experience not only for the players themselves, but for fans, the Pittsburgh community and women’s hockey in general.”

Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager Cammi Granato and 2018 Olympian Emily Matheson will be behind the U.S. bench in Pittsburgh.

Hefford, a Hockey Hall of Famer, and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will coach the Canadian team. The match will be broadcast on Sportsnet One. The PWHPA and Washington Capitals are co-hosting a four-team showcase tournament Friday to Sunday in Arlington, Va., featuring Toronto, Calgary, Boston and Minnesota clubs.

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