The last time the USA women won a gold medal in women’s hockey was during the Nagano Games in 1998. Team USA beat Canada 7-4 in the preliminary round, then beat them when it counted 3-1 for the first every medal awarded in women’s hockey.
Since then, as my green tea drinking north of the border homegirl has been reminding me, it has been a frustrating series of Olympic defeats for the USA women’s hockey team despite successfully (and repeatedly) beating those Canadian behinds in the IIHF World Championships.
There was the 3-2 gold medal game loss to Canada on home soil in Salt Lake City in 2002. Four years later in the 2006 Turin Games Team USA didn’t even make it to the gold medal game. They shockingly lost in an 3-2 OT shootout to Sweden in the semis and had to settle for the bronze medal.
In 2010 the USA lost to Olympic hosts Canada in Vancouver 2-0 in the gold medal match to collect another silver medal.
The 2014 Sochi Games was the most frustrating USA women’s Olympic hockey loss. Team USA was up 2-0 in the third period and 3:26 from avenging those defeats until Canada scored twice to force overtime, then won it with a golden goal in overtime to win their fourth straight gold medal.
That loss has fueled the Team USA fire for the last four years. As usual, they’ve beaten Canada in four straight IIHF world championships, with three of them happening post-Sochi, but would it finally translate to Olympic gold for Team USA?
Yep it did in PyeongChang.
This was the third consecutive Olympiad that the USA and Canada had met in the gold medal match and as I warned my green tea drinking homegirl, Olympic win streaks can come to an end.
.Even with a 2-1 loss in the preliminary round to Canada back on February 15 Team USA was a confident bunch going into this game with their bitter rivals.
Team USA struck first late in the 1st period with a Hilary Knight goal to give them a 1- 0 lead. But Canada struck back after the first intermission with two goals in the 2nd period to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room at the second intermission.
It wasn’t looking good for Team USA until a failed 2-1 break and botched Canadian line change resulted in a breakaway goal from Monique Lamoureux with 6:21 remaining that tied the game at 2-2 and sent it to overtime.
After 20 minutes of overtime and constant pressure by Team USA on the Canadian goal resulted in no game winning golden goals for either side. it was shootout time.
The USA won the coin flip and elected to go second and Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin and Jocelyn Lamoreux delivered in the shootout to gain revenge for Sochi and earn Team USA’s first women’s Olympic hockey medal in 20 years,
The World Champs are finally the Olympic Champs!
See y’all in Beijing, Renee.