ecstatic american ice hockey player cammi granato of the united picture

USA vs. Canada: Back Where It All Began

A look back at America's 1998 Olympic women's hockey glory in Nagano.

The United States and Canada’s women’s Olympic hockey rivalry began when the sport made its debut at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Led by captain Cammi Granato, the Americans beat their heavily favored northern neighbors 3-1 to take home the gold. Canada was quick to turn the tides, leaving America to settle for silver in 2002, 2010, and 2014, after an overtime heart-breaker in the Sochi Games. The United States broke that streak with an epic 3-2 shootout victory over their arch rivals in Pyeongchang, finally returning to the Olympic glory found on that magical night in Nagano.

US and Canadian Women's Hockey TeamsWally McNamee/Corbis via Getty ImagesFinally!USA and Canada faced off in the first-ever women's hockey gold medal game on February 17, 1998.

United States v Canada - Ice Hockey Women's Gold Medal Game - Nagano Winter Olympics Day 10The Asahi ShimbunEye on the PrizeWith everything on the line, neither team broke through in the opening period.

Shelley Looney [USA];Therese Brisson [CAN]Norbert Schmidt/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty ImagesNo Love LostThe countries may be allies, but their hockey teams weren't hearing it.

1998 Winter Olympics In Nagano, JapanBoston Globe via Getty ImagesPower PlayGretchen Ulion (not pictured) put home USA's first goal early in the second period.

United States v Canada - Ice Hockey Women's Gold Medal Game - Nagano Winter Olympics Day 10The Asahi ShimbunYou Shall Not PassUSA goalie Sarah Tueting turned away 11 shots in the second period alone, ending the frame with a 1-0 lead.

USA Shelley Looney, 1998 Winter OlympicsDavid E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated/Getty ImagesMake That a DoubleShelley Looney put one past Canada’s goalie Manon Rheaume to increase USA’s lead to 2-0 in the third period.

Hockey Player Carrying the PuckWally McNamee/Corbis via Getty ImagesFighting BackDanielle Goyette got one back for Canada minutes later.

1998 Winter Olympics In Nagano, JapanBoston Globe via Getty ImagesAlmost Doesn't CountStacy Wilson then nearly equalised for Canada.

1998 Winter Olympics In Nagano, JapanBoston Globe via Getty ImagesFeeling EmptySandra Whyte (right) found an empty net in the final minutes to seal the 3-1 upset victory.

United States v Canada - Ice Hockey Women's Gold Medal Game - Nagano Winter Olympics Day 10The Asahi ShimbunIt's All OverUSA piled it on after the final buzzer.

1998 Nagano Winter Olympics - Gold Medal Game: Team Canada v Team USABruce Bennett/Getty ImagesIce QueensThe two best teams in the world had given women's ice hockey a grand arrival on the Olympic stage.