Canada will have the edge over USA going into their gold medal grudge match at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
That’s the view of former Sweden goaltender Kim Martin Hasson who believes the USA will still be impacted by the injury to captain Brianna Decker.
Decker was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a leg injury in their opening game against Finland, but the reigning Olympic champions have still reached the final in her absence.
Pure Olympics - Ice Hockey
However, against their bitter rivals, Martin Hasson believes they will come unstuck.
“Every time US and Canada plays against each other, it's always a close game,” she said in the Eurosport cube.
“There's always overtime, or just one goal difference, so it's gonna be a close game, but I’m keeping Canada as the favourite, as I said before the tournament.
“I think to have more depth in their forwards. They have experience. They've been here for a long time.
“And when Brianna Decker the superstar for US got injured, I think the odds for Canada grew so they are the favourites.”
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Since the sport was introduced for women at the Games in 1998, the two North American nations have shared all six titles, with Canada claiming four golds to USA’s two.
The two teams have also contested every final bar one, when Martin Hasson’s Sweden beat the US in the 2006 semi-final only to lose to Canada in the gold medal match.
“Everyone kind of builds this final up,” she added.
“But everyone is always excited to see US and Canada in the final.”
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The bronze medal went the way of Finland following their 4-0 win over Switzerland and despite the rivalry between the two Scandinavian nations, Swede Martin Hasson congratulated the Fins on their victory.
“I think they definitely deserve it. Even if it is Finland,” she joked.
“We have had a lot of games against each other, and we sometimes won, and they sometimes won. But I think throughout this tournament, they’re looking awesome.
“Finland has depth. They have the stars, they have the goaltending, so they definitely deserve the bronze today.”
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