DETROIT – There's a big game coming up at Little Caesars Arena this weekend, and it doesn't include the Detroit Pistons or Red Wings.
The USA Women's Hockey team will take on Canada in the third and final game of the Rivalry Series.
The U.S. won the first game of this year's Rivalry Series, a 1-0 final Tuesday in London, Ontario, Canada. The second game is Thursday night in Toronto, and the final meeting will be at noon Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.
It has been almost a year since the USA Women's Hockey team defeated Canada in a shootout for the Olympic gold medal -- the first for the U.S. in 20 years.
Forward Dani Cameranesi and goalie Alex Rigsby said they remember the game like it was yesterday.
"It's a feeling you really can't even describe," Cameranesi said. There are so many different emotions. Some are balling because they are so happy, and it has taken us so long to accomplish that goal."
"Like Dani said, there were so many, like, tears and hugs," Rigsby said. "You look at the celebration -- there are so many genuine emotions. I mean, we couldn't get enough hugs in, and we're seeing our families and their tears."
The women said it was so satisfying because of all the hard work.
The party continued after the players got home to the U.S., with several television appearances. They said the best part was joining young camps all across the country, going from rink to rink to see little girls get excited.
"That's one of the best parts, I think, about playing hockey and being in the position we are in, is we have the ability to create that change in women, and sports is a huge move right now, and I think it's going to keep getting bigger," Cameranesi said.
The biggest moment was when Kendal Coyne Schofield became the first woman to compete in the NHL skills competition during All-Star weekend. She placed seventh in the fastest skater competition.
"She did awesome, and she was so incredible, and she gained so much notice for our sport and for what women can actually do," Cameranesi said.
"There's actually this post that went out from a dad -- it's a picture of his little girl watching Kendall on TV," Cameranesi said. "She never thought of playing hockey or anything like that, and I guess just pointed at the TV and says, 'I want to do what she just did.'"
The women have been riding the wave since winning a gold medal in South Korea. All of that has set the stage for Sunday in Hockeytown.
"I mean, it's going to be a good game, and obviously, Canada, they're going to want revenge on us, and we have the big targets on our back after coming off a big win," Rigsby said.
"Games against Canada are always really exciting and really intense, and we are really excited to be at Little Caesars Arena in front of that crowd," Cameranesi said.
Cameranesi and Rigsby hope to have a huge crowd Sunday at LCA to show the Canadians that the gold medal was last year, and USA hockey is here to stay.