Manitoba hockey fans got the opportunity to witness one of the great rivalries in the sport Tuesday night in Winnipeg.

Canada and the United States met at Bell MTS Place in game four of their six-game pre-Olympic series.

Over 10,000 spectators, many wearing the Red & White jersey, watched Canada's national womens hockey team defeat the United States 2-0.

Jillian Saulnier scored the winner with 3:10 remaining in the third period and Laura Fortino added an empty-netter with 44.5 seconds left.

"They're such a great team," said Saulnier on their win over the Americans. "They bring 100% everytime and so do we. It's always going to be a hard fought game against them and we were lucky to come out with a win tonight for sure."

Genevieve Lacasse made 32 saves in recording the shutout.

"I didn't have to do anything too crazy today," Lacasse said. "The team took the rebounds in front of the net and let me see pucks from the point. It was a good team win."

The last time the two teams met in Winnipeg was April 10th of 2007 when Canada downed the United States 5-1 in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Womens Hockey Championship.

Twenty-six players including four Manitobans are on Canada's centralization roster and they are Bailey Bram and Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne, Halli Krzyzaniak of Neepawa and Brigette Lacquette of Mallard.

All four saw plenty of ice time Tuesday night.

"It was amazing," said Krzyzaniak. "I don't think I've ever played in front of that many fans before and they really got into it and had so much energy. It gave us that little extra push."

Larocque was the only Manitoban on Canada's roster when our country captured gold at the 2014 Games in Sochi and said the level of play heading up to the 2018 Games will just keep getting better.

"I think both teams still have a lot to work on. Both teams are still selecting their teams so it will be different players out there. We have some tweaking to do. We're only in December so we have a lot of things to work on. It will be a process. We will be better for sure."

Hockey Canada is expected to announce our countries 23-player roster for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in late December.

Bram was one of the last players let go from Canada's roster four years ago.

"Getting cut last time helped me learn a lot. I think I've grown as a player and going through that has made me the player I am today. I don't ever take it for granted. I'm taking it day-by-day and just having fun with it."

Lacquette knows the coaching staff will have some pretty tough decisions to make in the next couple of weeks.

"It's pretty stressful but it's fun. I'm working towards my dream right now. It's huge."

The Canadians and Americans will meet again Wednesday, December 15th in San Jose and wrap up the six-game series two nights later in Edmonton.


photos courtesy Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images


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Sunday, December 10th

Carillon Senior Hocke League
St. Malo 6 Lac du Bonnet 4

HTJHL
St. Adolphe 5 Red River 4
Springfield 8 Steinbach 0

KJHL
St. Malo 9 Lundar 2

MJHL
Dauphin 4 Neepawa 2

City AAA Midget Hockey League
Wpg Hawks 6 Eastman 2

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Central Plains 3 Interlake 2 (OT)
Southwest 6 Pembina Valley 3
Yellowhead 8 Norman 2
Wpg Thrashers 5 Parkland 3

AHL
Manitoba 6 Milwaukee 1

NHL
St. Louis 3 Buffalo 2 (OT)
Chicago 3 Arizona 1
Toronto 1 Edmonton 0
Minnesota 4 San Jose 3 (OT)

NFL
Buffalo 13 Indianapolis 7 (OT)
Carolina 31 Minnesota 24
Chicago 33 Cincinnati 7
Green Bay 27 Cleveland 21 (OT)
San Francisco 26 Houston 16
Kansas City 26 Oakland 15
Detroit 24 Tampa Bay 21
Dallas 30 N.Y. Giants 10
Arizona 12 Tennessee 7
Denver 23 N.Y. Jets 0
L.A. Chargers 30 Washington 13
Jacksonville 30 Seattle 24
Philadelphia 43 L.A. Rams 35
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

NBA
Toronto 102 Sacramento 87
Boston 91 Detroit 81
Indiana 126 Denver 116 (OT)
Minnesota 97 Dallas 92
New Orleans 131 Philadelphia 124
New York 111 Atlanta 107

Monday, December 11th

HTJHL
Mitchell at St. Adolphe, 8 p.m.

MJHL
Showcase
@ Bell MTS Iceplex in Wpg
Virden vs Selkirk, 4 p.m.
Portage vs OCN, 6 p.m.
Winkler vs Wayway, 7 p.m.

NHL
Washington at New York Islanders, 6 p.m.
Colorado at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.
Dallas at New York Rangers, 6 p.m.
Florida at Detroit, 6:30 p.m.
Vancouver at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Anaheim, 9 p.m.

NBA
Miami at Memphis, 7 p.m.
Boston at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Charlotte at Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at Houston, 7 p.m.
Toronto at L.A. Clippers, 9:30 p.m.
Portland at Golden State, 9:30 p.m.

NFL
New England at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

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