Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Olympic Preview: Team USA Women

The Olympics start soon, 2 weeks from now I'll be glued to the TV watching Team USA both the Men and Women. I'm a huge fan of biathlon for some reason too, but I digress. I'm going to start w/ the Women's team, because I'm A LOT more interested in them due to the numerous Badger ties. Yeah the Men's team has some too (included the beloved Joe Pavelski), but I'm really excited about the Ladies in Red, White & Blue. Hopefully get to the Men later in the week.

I've had the opportunity to see these fine women play 3 times in the past 2 months (twice in person, once on NHL Network). Thursday night on the NHL Network will be the last warm up, as Team USA takes on Finland, check it out at 8 PM.

Canada got the better of them during their pre-Olympic matches. Canada looks good, but I think Team USA has all the pieces to upset the lady canucks on their home soil. Team USA has 7 former/current Badger players and the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal winner Mark Johnson as their coach; 21 gold medals are waiting to be hung around these women's necks.

Team Canada needs to get some love as they feature former Badgers Meaghan Mikkelson and Carla MacLeod. Hope you are ok w/ silver.

NBC is once again our hosts for the Olympic games. Coverage is being supplemented by USA, MSNBC and CNBC. During the Olympics, MSNBC will likely get more viewers than in the rest of the year combined.

Below is the schedule for Team USA's and Team Canada's preliminary round games (all times CST):

Feb 13th: Canada vs Slovkia 7 PM (CNBC)
Feb 14th: USA vs China 2 PM (USA)
Feb 15th: Canada vs Switzerland 4:30 PM (MSNBC)
Feb 16th: USA vs Russia 4:30 PM (MSNBC)
Feb 17th: Canada vs Sweden 4:30 PM (MSNBC)
Feb 18th: USA vs Finland 4:30 PM (MSNBC)
Feb 22nd: Semis 2 PM (USA) & 7 PM (CNBC)
Feb 25th: Bronze 1 PM & Gold 5 PM both on MSNBC (DVR the latter, USA vs Canada, book it!)

NBC's Olympic website also has some nice profiles of all the Women's Team, I'd definitely check it out.

For easy reference the links to the Badgers:

Jessie Vetter
Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej
Hilary Knight
Erika Lawler
Meghan Duggan
Kerry Weiland
Molly Engstrom

Hilary Knight is the youngest player on the team, and IMHO the best. I'd love to see her lineup w/ Erika Lawler, they dominated last season. Come on Ladies, bring home the GOLD!!!