Hayley Wickenheiser showed us why she has long been regarded as the greatest women’s hockey player ever on Wednesday. She was the difference maker as Canada defeated the United States 3-2 in a thrilling preliminary game in Sochi.
Wickenheiser set up Meghan Agosta-Marciano with a nifty pass for Canada's first goal of the game. She then scored herself - her 18th career Olympic goal. The 35 year old was heralded for her strong defensive play throughout the game.
There were some who were saying Wickenheiser's best days are now behind her. The two-time Olympic MVP had her team captaincy removed back in December. Wickenheiser has handled the tough situation with nothing but class and support for new captain Caroline Ouellette.
Wickenheiser was even a healthy scratch last season, though Team Canada said that was just to give her rest. Still, that led to whispers that Wickenheiser might not even make the 2014 Olympic team.
Wickenheiser proved her doubters wrong with her strong performance against Team USA on Wednesday.
Canada's victory gives Canada a bye into the next round while USA has to play pesky Finland and their red hot goalie Noora Raty.
While Raty and the Finns are certainly capable of the upset, I suspect Canada and USA will meet each other one more time in Sochi.