Canada, U.S. to open women’s hockey Rivalry Series in Hartford

United States defenceman Megan Bozek (9) passes the puck under pressure from Canada forward Sarah Nurse (20) and forward Victoria Bach (51) during the first period of a Rivalry Series game in London, Ont.. (Nicole Osborne/CP)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Canada and the United States kick off their Rivalry Series in women’s hockey Dec. 14 in Hartford, Conn.

The game is the first in a series between the arch-rivals with more dates yet to be announced.

Canada claimed February’s three-game Rivalry Series, bouncing back from a 1-0 loss in London, Ont., to win 4-3 in Toronto and 2-0 in Detroit.

USA Hockey said in a statement Monday the next series will be five games — two in December and three in February.

Hockey Canada and USA Hockey want to increase competition for their national-team players because they’re not playing in a league this winter.

Roughly 200 players have formed the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association in a drive to achieve what they feel is a financially viable and sustainable league for themselves.

They’ve boycotted the U.S.-based NWHL.

PWHPA players are participating in a barnstorming tour across North America this fall, but will likely not get in as many games as they would have in a league.

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League shut down this year after 12 seasons.

The Swedish federation has cancelled November’s Four Nations Cup — an annual tournament involving the Americans, Canadians, Finns and Swedes — because of a dispute with its national women’s team.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.