2024 February USA-Canada Rivalry Series Preview
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2024 February USA-Canada Rivalry Series Preview

The US and Canadian women's national teams meet for three games in the coming week to finish off the 2023-2024 Rivalry Series

2024 February USA-Canada Rivalry Series Preview by Melissa Burgess

The US and Canadian women's national teams meet for three games in the coming week to finish off the 2023-2024 Rivalry Series. The teams will face off on Wednesday, February 7 at 8:00 PM Eastern at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They'll then meet on Friday, February 9 at 8:00 PM Eastern at the Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. The series finishes on Sunday, February 11 at 2:00 PM Eastern at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

All three games will be broadcast on NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada.

Looking Back at November & December

Team USA swept the November games with 3-1 and 5-2 victories, then split the December games. Both games in December required extra time, as USA won the first game 3-2 in overtime before Canada rallied for a 3-2 shootout win in the second game. With three games coming in February and USA leading the Rivalry Series 3-1, the overall series is still anyone's for the taking.

Canada Roster

Canada's roster includes 13 players who skated in the December Rivalry Series games, 12 of whom also played in November. There are a handful of roster changes – similar to what we see on the USA side – as both teams have elected to go with fully-PWHL rosters. There are no collegiate players on either team's roster.

For Canada, that means the following players draw out: Anne Cherkowski, Danielle Serdachny, Jennifer Gardiner, Julia Gosling, and Nicole Gosling. Kristin O'Neill is also out and has been held out of PWHL action lately, seemingly due to injury. Otherwise, Sophie Jaques, Loren Gabel, and Kristen Campbell were also taken off the roster from December, as was Kayla Osborne. Osborne had been a replacement for the injured Emerance Maschmeyer.

Joining the roster are: Maggie Connors (in her senior national team debut), Victoria Bach, Sophie Shirley and Micah Zandee-Hart. Jessie Eldridge, Jamie Lee Rattray and Corinne Schroeder are also back, having played in the November games but off the roster in December.

Of the returning players, Laura Stacey leads Canada with three points (1G, 2A) in four games. Jamie Lee Rattray, Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner & Ella Shelton each have a point. Outside the Rivalry Series, Marie-Philip Poulin is second in PWHL scoring with nine points (6G, 3A) in as many games, while Natalie Spooner leads the league with seven goals.

7 Laura Stacey F R Montreal
8 Maggie Connors F L Toronto
9 Jessie Eldridge F R New York
19 Brianne Jenner F R Ottawa
20 Sarah Nurse F L Toronto
24 Natalie Spooner F R Toronto
26 Emily Clark F L Ottawa
27 Emma Maltais F L Toronto
29 Marie-Philip Poulin F L Montreal
40 Blayre Turnbull F R Toronto
47 Jamie Lee Rattray F L Boston
51 Victoria Bach F L Toronto
91 Sophie Shirley F R Montreal
3 Jocelyne Larocque D L Toronto
14 Renata Fast D R Toronto
16 Jessica DiGirolamo D L Boston
17 Ella Shelton D L New York
21 Ashton Bell D R Ottawa
23 Erin Ambrose D R Montreal
25 Jaime Bourbonnais D R New York
26 Micah Zandee-Hart D L New York
30 Corinne Schroeder G L New York
35 Ann-Renee Desbiens G L Montreal
38 Emerance Maschmeyer G L Ottawa

United States Roster

Like with Canada, the majority of USA's roster changes come as a result of the shift to a solely PWHL roster. Drawing out as a result are: Cayla Barnes, Hannah Bilka, Britta Curl, Lacey Eden, Laila Edwards, Rory Guilday, Caroline Harvey, Tessa Janecke, Abbey Murphy, Kirsten Simms, Ally Simpson, Anna Wilgren, and Haley Winn.

Thirteen players on the February roster also played in December, but many are making their Rivalry Series season debut, including: Kali Flanagan, Maggie Flaherty, Madison Bizal, Emily Brown, Maureen Murphy, Taylor Girard, Jesse Compher, Brittyn Fleming, Kendall Coyne Schofield, and Clair DeGeorge.

This week marks the senior national team debut of both Flaherty and Bizal; both previously represented USA at the 2017 U18 World Championships and the 2017 U18 series. It will also mark Taylor Girard's US national team debut.

Of the returning players, Hilary Knight leads all skates with six points (2G, 4A) in four games. Alex Carpenter and Abbey Murphy each have four points in as many games. Outside of the Rivalry Series, Carpenter also leads the PWHL with 11 points (5G, 6A) in nine games.

5 Megan Keller D L Boston
6 Kali Flanagan D R Toronto
7 Maggie Flaherty D L Minnesota
9 Madison Bizal D L Montreal
15 Savannah Harmon D L Ottawa
24 Natalie Buchbinder D R Minnesota
34 Emily Brown D L Boston
8 Maureen Murphy F R Montreal
10 Becca Gilmore F R Ottawa
11 Abby Roque F R New York
12 Kelly Pannek F R Minnesota
13 Grace Zumwinkle F R Minnesota
16 Hayley Scamurra F L Ottawa
17 Taylor Girard F L Boston
18 Jesse Compher F R Toronto
19 Brittyn Fleming F L Minnesota
21 Hilary Knight F R Boston
25 Alex Carpenter F L New York
26 Kendall Coyne Schofield F L Minnesota
27 Taylor Heise F R Minnesota
36 Gabbie Hughes F L Ottawa
38 Clair DeGeorge F L Minnesota
29 Nicole Hensley G L Minnesota
30 Abbey Levy G L New York
31 Aerin Frankel G L Boston


As always, these are going to be fast-paced, exciting games. These are the first Rivalry Series games since the PWHL kicked off its season, and both teams are comprised solely of PWHL players, representing all six teams in the league.

A few players I'm particularly excited to watch: Taylor Heise, who has six points in nine games with PWHL Minnesota this season; Taylor Girard, making her national team debut for USA, and Victoria Bach, who only just returned to game action this past weekend after earning her teacher's degree.

Another roster note: we'll have to see if Jaime Bourbonnais suits up for Canada. She appeared to be injured in New York's game on February 4, but there's been no mention yet of her status for the Rivalry Series or going forward in the PWHL season. She did return to the ice but may need to utilize the international break.

With an exciting mix of players returning from the November & December rosters, these three upcoming games will determine who "wins" the overall 2023-2024 Rivalry Series. USA won the first three games, but Canada is coming off the most recent win. Can they build on that, and their home ice advantage, in Saskatchewan and then close it out in Minnesota? Last year, Canada famously pulled off the reverse sweep, losing the first three games and then storming back to take the next four. (They then went on to lose to Team USA at the World Championships.)

It wouldn't surprise me if the series comes down to that final game in Minnesota, as these two teams will play one another very closely. One defensive miscue could be the line drawn in the sand in this series.