Even though the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is on Friday, the Curling competition starts Thursday morning at 9am… that’s Korean time; On the Eastern Time Zone, that’s 7pm Wednesday night. The Olympics are almost here!
Along with Curling, I enjoy watching Olympic Hockey… The international competition is fun, and I prefer the way the game is played on the wider international rink.
…But this time around, many of the world’s best hockey players – and pretty much all of North America’s best hockey players – will be playing in the NHL rather than skating in PyeongChang.
I get the impression that a Gold Medal for the USA would be “Miracle On Ice 2: Electric Boogaloo”. I don’t recognize any names on the Canadian roster, but then again I don’t really follow the NHL anymore.
So what’s a hockey fan to do?
Maybe Hilary Knight has a suggestion…
I’m thinking that Women’s Ice Hockey should be interesting. In Sochi, the Canadian team beat the US team in OT in the gold medal game; this is after the US was leading 2-0 in the third. In addition, all of the Gold Medals in the 18-year history of the Women’s World Championships have gone to either the US or Canada, with the US winning 8 of the past 10 but Canada having a 10-8 overall record in those games.
Hilary Knight is one of the key players for the US Women, and one of several on the team who is playing their 3rd Olympic games. She was also in the 2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic Hopefuls set…
There are no Olympic Hockey players represented in the 2018 set… Not that I would know first-hand because I’ve yet to see so much as a pack anywhere in Shlabotsylvania.
Getting back to that 2014 Gold Medal game… The game-tying and game-winning goals were both scored by Marie-Philip Poulin, who’s the captain of the Canadian team.
Poulin has scored 8 goals and 12 points over the course of 10 Olympic games. She was also a star player for Boston University.
Meghan Duggan is the captain of the US team. Like Hilary Knight, she’s appeared in two prior Olympics, winning Silver both times.
She won three NCAA championships with the University of Wisconsin and was named the country’s best collegiate women’s hockey player in 2011.
If you don’t think that Meaghan Mikkelson lives and breathes hockey, her son’s name is Calder. He was named through nominations and voting on Twitter, but her great uncle, Jimmy McFadden, won the Calder Trophy in 1950, and her father, Bill Mikkelson was on an AHL team which won the Calder Cup.
Meaghan won two Olympic Gold Medals, two NCAA titles with the Wisconsin Badgers, and was, along with Olympic teammate Natalie Spooner, a runner-up in season 2 of “The Amazing Race Canada”. I had no idea there was a Canadian version, but then again I’ve never watched “The Amazing Race” (or much of any reality TV).
Before I get away from the family connections… Her brother Brendan played for the Ducks, Flames and Lightning, and her dad, Bill Mikkelson, played in the NHL for the Kings, Islanders and Capitals.
This is far from the only family connections involved with the USA and Canada Women’s Hockey teams… I’ll touch on some more another time.
I had fun creating these customs based on the 1968-69 Topps & O-Pee-Chee Hockey sets, and I made a bunch more of them. You’ll be seeing more at some point… hopefully you’ll regard that as a good thing.
Before I get away from the Olympics entirely, I’ll remind you that I’ve also been working on a Curling set based on the 1975 Topps baseball design. I’m essentially burning off this next card which falls under the category of “This is why Olympic cards aren’t a ‘thing'”.
I made this custom in November as I was under the impression that Team Sidorova would be representing Russia in Pyeongchang. Well, not only has Russia been banned (and replaced by “Olympic Athletes From Russia”), but I just found out this morning that Team Sidorova lost the non-Russian trials at the end of December and Victoria Moiseeva’s team will pseudo-represent Russia starting this week.
But don’t fret…the Norwegians ARE coming, and they’re bringing their pants!