WINNIPEG -- Team Canada will play the U.S. Women's Olympic Team on Dec. 6 in Winnipeg as part of a 12-game series between the top two teams in female hockey as both prepare to compete in the first-ever women's hockey tournament at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
The game is the second of a 'home-and-home' pair of matches between Canada and the U.S. that will see the two teams play on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis, a hockey hotbed in the United States. Tickets for the Dec. 6 game at the Winnipeg Arena, are priced at $6.75, $10.75, $15.75 and $19.75 and go on sale on Monday, Nov. 10 at Select-A-Seat outlets in Winnipeg area, as well as the Arena box office.
The Minneapolis and Winnipeg games will be the first Canada's Women's Olympic team will play following a three-country tournament against Finland and Sweden in Finland from Nov. 12-20. The Finns have been bronze medalists at all four Women's World Hockey Championship tournaments, all of which have been won by Canada. The Swedes finished fifth at the 1997 Women's World Hockey Championship in Kitchener, ON.
All the pre-Olympic games are important ones for Canada's Women's Olympic Team, which assembled in Calgary at the Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Centre on Sept. 7 to begin five months of preparation for the 1998 Winter Games. Twenty-eight Olympic hopefuls began the training camp at Father David Bauer Arena, but three players already have been released. Head coach Shannon Miller must still trim the roster down to 20 -- two goaltenders and 18 skaters -- by early December.
"The Winnipeg game is the last one we'll play before we announce our final Olympic roster, so there could be a lot at stake for the players," said Miller. "It's also our final tune-up before the 3 Nations' Cup tournament, against our toughest opponents, the United States and Finland."
So far this season, Canada has fashioned a 6-1 won-lost record, with a pair of victories over the Chinese National Women's Team and four wins over Sweden. The only loss for Canada was a 5-4 defeat in a shootout against the United States on Oct. 25 in Salt Lake City, UT. The two rivals will play each other 12 times during Canada's 27-game pre-Olympic schedule. They will face each other twice during the 3 Nations' Cup in December in Lake Placid, as well as on Jan. 16 in Vancouver during the NHL All-Star Weekend and Jan. 26 in Calgary at the Saddledome.