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Women’s Hockey | Hillary Knight has yet to come to terms with Beijing’s defeat

There is not really a satisfactory translation of the English expression “shit show”.

We’ll talk about disaster, mess… But when Hilary Knight says the Beijing Olympics were her team’s “bullshit show,” you can also quote her literally.

And thankfully, the USA team is in Quebec these days, a year after being defeated in the Olympic final by Canada, 3-2. This meeting at the top was certainly the scene of another winning goal from Marie Philip Boleyn. But in the American camp, we did everything but win.

Canadian guard Anne-Rene Despens faced a 40-shot barrage. The star players – Knight and Amanda Kessel – led the charge in an effort to overturn a 3-0 deficit. But in vain.

This setback, Knight has not yet come to grips with. Her verdict is stern, perhaps exaggerated, and it resonates even more because it comes from one of the greatest athletes to ever wear the star-studded jersey.

But it doesn’t come out of nowhere. “With all the talent that was in this dressing room, we totally wasted our chance,” Nuance Knight said last Friday, in an interview with Journalism. It’s hard to accept after a full four-year cycle, after surviving COVID-19, after being able to get the whole group in there without testing positive… It’s really unfortunate how championship turned out. happened to us. »

Women’s hockey has been particularly affected by the pandemic. One World Championship was canceled, and another was about to be cancelled. The economic slowdown has hurt the development of the dream professional league of the best players on the planet.

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So the Olympics represented an unparalleled opportunity for redemption after two miserable years. Canadian women have tasted it. Not the Americans.

“People don’t see all the sacrifices we make,” Knight adds. Obviously, we should only control what we can control. But taking advantage of our opportunities is something we must take back control of. After the games, you had to mentally press the button Re-Set [réinitialisation] Putting the team in a better position to win. »


If the USA team is currently skating in the province, that is because it will face the Canadian selection twice over the next few days as part of the Rivalry Series, a seven-meeting series between the two clubs that has been a venue for several years.

Even if the event is less prestigious than the Olympics or World Championships, every duel between these two rivals has the potential to be epic. In Trois-Rivières, on Monday evening, the Americans will try to secure the 2022-2023 title by winning their fourth. The Canadians, on the other hand, are going to want a 3-3 tie. The last meeting, contested regardless of Monday’s outcome, will take place on Wednesday evening at the Place Belle in Laval.

Talking with the guys, we understand that the share of four out of seven is not an obsession. However, the matches are worth their weight in gold.

Beyond the competition itself, there is a clear benefit to vision. “Usually people meet, especially in the United States, only every four years,” she says.

Above all, Knight acknowledges the “high quality rehearsals” given to female players, especially younger ones. American training, for example, is in an apparent phase of renewal. In my version of this series, 10 of the 26 players were born in 1999 or later.

“I will never say it enough: there are not enough matches at this level,” she adds. “These seven meetings are crucial for the development of the players.”

She also says she was impressed by the quality of her new colleagues, who arrived “with an ease we haven’t seen before”. Like boys, young hockey players now follow their idols on social networks and reproduce their exploits in training. Thus, when they find themselves in an older group, “they breathe out their dynamism and creativity.”

“She pulls us all in,” the 33-year-old striker is drawn to and who, moreover, is unimpressed by her status as the oldest member of the squad.

“I do a sport that I love,” she says again. In the end, what is expected of everyone is to be competitive. I must be young at heart, I imagine! »

Game 6 of the Rivalry Series will take place on Monday night at 7pm at the Colisée Videotron in Trois-Rivières.