Thursday, September 3, 2009

Need a hockey fix? U.S. Women's team plays Canada tonight

The Winter Olympics start in just over five months and the U.S. Women's team has an important warmup game tonight, taking on Canada in the Canada Cup. The game isn't on television, a sad failure on the part of USA Hockey. But you can watch it online at; it's free but you have to register and possibly install some software from Microsoft (good luck with that!). The game starts at 7:30 Pacific time.

The U.S. Women's team won the gold medal in the 1998 Olympics and then Silver in '02 and a Bronze in '06 in Torino. There's only one Californian on the roster, but she's a local -- Angela Ruggiero, a defenseman from Simi Valley. Here's a great "skating 101" video featuring Ruggiero that I plan to watch 20 or so times each day!

Ruggiero is a veteran of all three Olympic squads, played on a men's pro team alongside her brother and also appeared on the sixth season of "The Apprentice," according to her website. I was cheered to read that she holds a degree from Harvard in government. Hey, I used to cover City Hall for the Newspaper Whose Name I Shall Not Speak and I currently do some government work. I have something in common with a real hockey player!

Here's an NBC News video of Ruggiero playing with men with the Tulsa Oilers. Check her roughing it up on the boards with the boys. Very impressive.

--Steve Hymon

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