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Women's World Championships: Canada vs USA Preview, game thread, how to watch

The two top countries get their 2016 women's world championships underway tonight

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Last year's Gold Medal game between Canada and the US set the record for most goals in a Gold Medal game in a 7-5 USA win. Thirty-three players from that game are on the rosters for the 2016 tournament as it returns to Canada in Kamloops, BC.

How to watch/Streaming info:

The game will be on TSN in Canada and NHL Network in the USA. It can be streamed via TSN Go. It will also be on TSN Radio in Canada.

Tale of the Tape

These teams are very evenly matched and it extends to their averages as well. Both teams have 15 skaters returning. Canada has one goaltender returning while the USA has two. Canada's average age is 25. USA's is 24. The average heights are 5'8 and 5'7. Average weights 154 to 150 with Canada just slightly taller and bigger.

Quite honestly, these two teams couldn't be more evenly matched as they get set for their tournament opener.

Who to Watch

Canada's top three forwards are Marie-Philip PoulinNatalie Spooner and Rebecca Johnston and them being on the same team will be a joy to watch much like it has been since Sochi. Canada has eight other members of the Calgary Inferno who won the CWHL's Clarkson Cup including 37-year old Hayley Wickenheiser 22 years after making her Worlds debut in 1994. Les Canadiennes players Lauriane Rougeau and Charline Labonté will also dress for Canada.

For the Americans, five members of the Boston Pride, the NWHL's Isobel Cup champions will play for the USA including Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker, two of the best forwards in the world. The Americans also have Kelli StackMeghan DugganAlex Carpenter and Kendall Coyne up front and there are several others, including the Lamoureux sisters, I didn't even mention.

If last year's World Championships were to get a feel for youngsters with an eye on 2018, this year is building on that in an effort to win. The Americans have dominated this tournament almost as well as the Canadians have dominated the Olympics since 2002.

This game doesn't have the stakes of a Gold Medal, but these players don't get many opportunities to go up against each other and that is almost as good a motivator as any.