The United States Women's Ice Hockey team defeated Team Canada in an epic shootout to win the gold medal for the first time since 1998. The win for Team USA can only be viewed as an upset as Team Canada has won gold at the last four Olympic Games.
Their four straight gold medal wins was the second longest Olympic gold medal streak in a team sport (the longest streak is owned by the U.S. Women's Basketball team which holds the record of six consecutive gold medal wins in a row).
The final between Team Canada and Team USA was just as exciting as the shootout that followed. Team USA scored the first points with a power play goal by Hilary Knight late in the first quarter. The power play was the third for the Americans as the Canadian penalty killing unit had a long night as Team Canada played short-handed five times during the game.
The Canadians evened the score and went 1-1 after Haley Irwin scored through an amazing move which tricked the American goal tender. Team Canada took the lead in the second quarter after team captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored short-handed during another American power play.
The score remained that way through the rest of the second period and through most of the third. Team USA found its equalizer late in the third period when Monique Lamoureux found the back of the net during a fast break. The game went into overtime where both teams would play 4 versus 4. While the pace was fast and furious, neither team was able to score the game winning goal. The Americans came close several times but ultimately the game would go to a shootout.
In the shootout round both teams were able score two goals each leaving the game once again at a stalemate. This forced the teams into a sudden death shootout and in the end it was Team America who came up trumps to help them secure Olympic gold for the first time in 20 years.
In a statement, Hilary Knight who plays forward for Team America said
This is an outstanding team. I think I'm sort of bittersweet right now that the journey is over just because these women are incredible and I really wish that you could be in the locker room to experience what we experienced. It's a dream come true
When Goes Bad It Gets Worse For Team Canada
With the women’s team defeated hopes lay with the men who were facing Germany for a spot in the final scheduled for Sunday. The nine time champions sadly were stunned by the Germans 4-3 who make their first ever final will now face Russia (OAR).
Team Canada’s Mat Robinson reflects on the defeat,
A tough loss for us and we let our country down today. It’s a tough pill to swallow, We shot ourselves in the foot in the beginning of the game and we weren’t able to come back from it