“Just hard,” Larocque told Toronto’s The Globe and Mail. “We were going for gold.”
After the medal ceremony, Larocque shook hands with the opposing team. Things haven’t always been so friendly between Team Canada and Team USA.
Larocque faced criticism afterward, even from Canadian fans who thought removing the medal was bad sportsmanship, but the head coach for Team USA defended her.
“I definitely understand it,” Team USA coach Robb Stauber said. “It’s a very heated rivalry.
Easily the most heated in the Olympics, maybe one of the most heated in sports. Mary Clarke of SBNation.com summed up the games between Canadian and U.S. women as the Olympic rivalry with the most “hatred and heartbreak.”
The teams have faced off in the gold medal game at the Olympics five of the last six years. The U.S. led 2-0 with five minutes left in the third period. The Canadians scored two improbable goals in the game’s final moments, and scored in overtime to win. It’s a loss U.S. women still haven’t got over going into this year’s Olympics.
While fighting is a regular component in the NHL, it’s extremely rare in men’s Olympic hockey. That’s not the case when the U.S. and Canadian’s teams get together. The brawls, hard checks and aggressive play are regular occurrences. YouTube is loaded with just some of the fights the teams have had over the years.
Here’s a brawl from 2013.
One earlier in the 2013 after the U.S. goalie got tagged.
Another fight a couple months later in 2014 before Sochi Olympics.
And more fighting.
These are just games on YouTube and other available video platforms. The two teams play each other regularly in exhibitions that aren’t broadcast, with no video available, and have had numerous brawls in these games.