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4 best moments from the Canada-U.S. women's hockey rivalry

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There are few rivalries more fierce than the ongoing saga between the Canadian and U.S. women's hockey teams, a feud that will be reignited at PyeongChang 2018.

Although the overall talent continues to develop immensely across the globe over the past two decades, Canada and U.S. stand alone as the two genuine powerhouses.

This year should be no different with both teams considered heavy favorites against the field. With the tournament in full swing, here are some of the best moments from the Canada-U.S. rivalry. 

U.S. wins inaugural tournament in Nagano

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Nagano 1998 was the first time women's hockey was featured and many anticipated Canada and the U.S. to breeze through the competition. While both North American juggernauts showed their opponents some mercy, the tournament reached its inevitable conclusion in the gold-medal game.

Earlier in the tournament, the U.S. defeated Canada 7-4, with Cammi Granato and Laurie Baker notching a pair of goals in a display of offensive firepower that ought to have been a forewarning. Many analysts expected Canada to topple their rival in the rematch, but it didn't come to fruition.

During the game, the U.S. completely neutralized Canada's attack with Sarah Tueting recording 24 saves in a 3-1 comprehensive victory. Sandra Whyte clinched the win with an empty-net goal as the U.S. triumphantly celebrated their achievement. It was the perfect inaugural tournament for women's hockey and helped grow the sport tenfold while providing a glimpse of what was yet to come in the Canada-U.S. conflict.

Canada exacts revenge in Salt Lake City

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Both teams were drawn into different groups in Salt Lake City, with Canada entering the event hell-bent on earning gold. Canada posted a spotless 25-0 goal differential during the round robin, while the U.S. led the tournament with a plus-27 mark through the first three games. The collision course remained on schedule.

In the gold-medal game, Canada took an early lead when Caroline Ouellette crashed the net and buried a rebound less than two minutes into the first period, setting the tone for the rest of the contest. U.S. forward Katie King tied it early in the second frame, but Canada responded diligently with Hayley Wickenheiser cleaning up a rebound, placing the puck in the top corner. Jayna Hefford scored on a breakaway with one second remaining in the second period and the Canadians never looked back.

It was a key moment of redemption for the Canadian program and marked the start of their dynastic run, winning four consecutive tournaments. 

Poulin rallies Canada to overtime victory in Sochi

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There are few things more exhilarating than a gold-medal game that goes to overtime, and that's precisely how the Sochi final played out.

Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin etched her place in history four years prior, scoring both goals in the Vancouver final while leading her country to victory. Poulin's finest hour may have occurred in Sochi, however.

The U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Meghan Duggan placing a seeing-eye shot through traffic, while Alex Carpenter tapped in a perfect feed from Hilary Knight. It appeared that Canada's run was about to come to a crashing end. Then, Canada submitted one of the greatest comebacks in tournament history.

Brianne Jenner put Canada on the board with under four minutes remaining, getting a fortuitous bounce off a U.S. defender to cut the deficit to 2-1. After the U.S. almost closed out the game with the Canadian net empty, Poulin took over the contest.

With just a minute away from the final horn, Canada desperately needed a goal and engaged in an aggressive cycle. Rebecca Johnston found the puck behind the net and hit Poulin in stride, who crashed the net and beat U.S. goaltender Jessie Vetter to send the game into overtime.

Canada drew a power play in the extra frame, a fatal development for its opponent. After working the puck along the blue line, Poulin received a timely feed from Laura Fortino before promptly sniping the puck past Vetter, giving Canada its fourth consecutive gold medal.

Chu, Ouellette announce birth of child

On November 5th, at 10:18pm, after 40 weeks and 2 days, Julie and I welcomed to the world our beautiful daughter Liv. I feel truly blessed to experience this incredible adventure with my love and best friend Julie. I did not realise it was possible to love this much until I met this little buddle of joy! It was a happy pregnancy for us. Liv was on the ice to win the Clarkson Cup with Les Canadiennes de Montréal this past March. We spent the summer coaching the sport we love with great friends. Thanks to our families and friends for your support and for being part of this new journey. Cheers to the sleepless nights to come! Le 5 novembre dernier, à 22:18, après 40 semaines et 2 jours, Julie et moi avons accueilli notre magnifique fille Liv. Je suis tellement choyée de vivre ce moment incroyable avec l’amour de ma vie et ma meilleure amie Julie. Je ne croyais pas qu’il était possible d’aimer autant avant de la rencontrer! Ce fut une grossesse heureuse pour nous. Liv était sur la glace pour remporter la Coupe Clarkson avec Les Canadiennes de Montréal en Mars dernier. Notre été fut passé à enseigner le sport qu’on aime avec nos meilleures amies. Merci à tous nos familles et amis pour votre support et de faire partie de cette aventure. Cheers aux nuits blanches à venir!

A post shared by Caroline Ouellette (@caroouellette13) on Nov 13, 2017 at 8:12am PST

Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette were fierce competitors for their respective countries, but have proved that some things transcend the on-ice rivalry.

Chu, who competed for the U.S. in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014, and Ouellette, who captured four gold medals for Canada, married and announced the birth of their child in November. There's been no word on which country Liv Chu-Ouellette will eventually suit up for.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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