Sami Jo Small, Three time Olympian Women’s hockey goalie, and motivational speaker, featured as a young girl in this piece: The history and heartbreak behind Jets-Oilers rivalry

Sami Jo Small grew up on the outdoor hockey rinks of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and her passion for the game was honed in the boys minor hockey system. As a three-time Olympian and five-time world champion goalie for the Canadian national women’s ice hockey team, she knows the game of high level competitive sport well, and has channeled what she learned as an athlete into motivational speaking to a broader audience.

This article, originally published on Sports Net, about the history and heartbreak behind the Jet-Oilers rivalry, features a young girl Sami in cameo, but obviously on track for the future yet to come. (And if you’re a hockey fan and interested in an even more comprehensive guide on practical tips and advice beyond the Sports Net piece, you might find this link useful).

The Heritage Classic is all about embracing hockey’s history — and there’s plenty of that to be found between the Jets and Oilers

You have to go back 37 years and to an entirely different professional hockey league to find the last time the Winnipeg Jets scored a major victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Even then, the Jets had just finished runner-up to the Oilers in the bid for Wayne Gretzky when the young star was dealt away by the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. (There’s a tall tale about a lost backgammon game being the deciding factor.)

This rivalry, if you can call it that, has always been one-sided.

The two teams have grown up together. Both came kicking and screaming into existence like all World Hockey Association teams did in the 1970s. And now the alumni of both teams will skate together again, this time outdoors at the 2016 Heritage Classic.

Unlike the first Heritage Classic alumni game between Edmonton and the Montreal Canadiens in 2003, this one carries with it some extra baggage. The Jets franchise — their players and fans alike — have a score to settle. Big brother has won one too many driveway games.

That last post-season Jets victory over their more accomplished relatives to the west was the WHA’s 1979 Avco World Trophy—the last such championship before Winnipeg, Edmonton, Quebec and New England (later Hartford) merged with the NHL. Gretzky’s bodyguard, Dave Semenko, scored the WHA’s final goal in the Oilers’ loss.

Link to read the rest of the article on Sports Net HERE…