February 21, 2014

Drama Queens! Canada Beats USA In Overtime For Women's Hockey Gold

In one of the greatest comebacks in Olympic hockey history Team Canada beat Team USA in the gold medal game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Marie-Philip Poulin scored in the dying seconds to tie the game, and then scored again in overtime to win the game 3-2.

The win is the 4th consecutive gold meal for Team Canada, and 20th consecutive win at the Olympics.

The young and the relentless American women's hockey team has emerged as the dominant team in women's hockey in recent years, but they have not been able to defeat Canada at the Olympics. They had won four of the previous five world championships and dominated Canada in the pre-Olympic exhibition matches. They seemed prime to finally take the Olympic title.

Meghan Duggan and Alex Carpenter - daughter of NHL legend Bobby Carpenter - scored for USA. The Americans seemed to control the game much of the time, especially when given power play opportunities. Canada's rookie defender Tara Watchorn took three minor penalties, including on what appeared to be on Carpenter's heart-breaking goal.

But the defending champs refused to give up, storming back to force overtime in dramatic fashion.

Brianne Jenner revived Canadian hopes with a late goal with just 3:26 left to play, starting a comeback of Olympic proportion. 

Canada pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, only to see the linesman accidentally interfere with the play, allowing the Americans to clear the zone. The puck, seemingly in slow motion, flittered down the ice only to the hit the post, keeping Canada's slim chance alive.

On the very next play Marie-Philip Poulin scored to force overtime, shocking most observers who were ready to write off the veteran champions.

The Americans stormed out to feverish start of OT only to see Shannon Szabados with spectacular saves to keep Canada in the game. Enough can not be said about Szabados' excellent play on Thursday.

The Americans kept the pressure on and eventually something had to give. British referee Joy Johnston called a 2 minute cross-checking penalty on Catherine Ward, giving the Americans 4 on 3 power play with lots of room on the big ice. 

Jocelyne Lamoureux would be called for slashing only 6 seconds later, allowing for an incredibly rare 3 on 3 play for nearly 2 minutes.

The three one three play was highlight by a clear breakaway for Hayley Wickenheiser who was then hauled down by Hilary Knight. The referee did call the penalty on Knight, but incredibly did not award the penalty shot.

Canada regained their composure and went to work on the power play where Marie Philip Poulin scored again.

You have to feel bad for American veteran Julie Chu. This is her third and quite possibly last Olympics. Only Angela Ruggeiro has played more games for USA than the five time world champion Chu. But she was unable to add the gold medal to her jewellery collection.

1 comment:

ThunderMike said...

I am a Canadian. It was a great game but was ruined in OT by the awful call. Knight didn't touch Wickenheiser....shame such a great game ended on crap call....both teams gave quite a show...