Brutal, just brutal.
Just as Canada’s Sidney Crosby sunk the dreams of the USA four years ago in overtime of the men’s gold medal game, Marie-Philip Poulin, did the same to USA’s women’s team today.
Canada defeated the USA 3-2 in overtime, after being down 2-0 with less than four minutes left in the third period. An improbable comeback and a shocking ending.
But, former Badgers shined, not only in this game, but all tournament.
The USA Women’s Hockey Olympic gold medal game versus team Canada essentially boiled down to the speed of the USA against the strength and resiliency of the Canadians.
But, it was deeper than that. These two teams hate each other…I mean hate each other. It’s a treat to watch them battle; last year the Canadians took home the gold medal while team USA angrily received their silver medals.
Heading into the third period of the final, team USA clung to a 1-0 lead as 10,693 fans watched on from inside the arena.
Team USA was seeking its first Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey for the first time since 1998. There are four former Badgers on team USA including two of it’s top scorers Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker, starting goalie Jessie Veter and team Captain Meghan Duggan. That’s a lot of representation for the University of Wisconsin.
Oh, and the goal that gave team USA the 1-0 lead was scored by Duggan. Badgers Represent!
One could argue that the Badgers have more of an influence on team USA than any university. Four key players, who’ve all had great tournaments. Also, team Canada has Meaghan Mikkelson, a former Badger.
As the third period began, team USA drew a penalty and scored with 7 Seconds left on the power-play; with 17:57 left to play in the game. The goal was scored by Alex Carpenter on an absolutely beautiful pass from Knight. Badgers Represent again!
The game roared on and team USA continued to block shots; showing their heart. Team USA was hellbent on extracting their revenge from their arch rival to the north. Decker and Knight both had great scoring chances with around five minutes to play but were stuffed, keeping the game within reach for the Canadians.
The Canadians would show some serious resiliency.
With 3:26 left in the third period team Canada cut the American’s lead in half. Veter, USA’s goalie, never had a chance on the deflected puck. 2-1 USA. Brianne Jenner scored the goal which broke up Veter’s shutout. The pressure could be felt all the way from Sochi, Russia, to living rooms across North America.
With 1:58 left in the game Veter made the biggest stop of the game. Badgers represent yet again!
At the 1:35 mark team Canada pulled their goalie, team USA sent the puck down the ice and it hit the post. So close to gold medal securing goal. Wow.
With 54.6 seconds left to play team Canada tied the game, with an extra skater. Marie-Philip Poulin, of team Canada, used her quick hands to beat Veter. The game tied at 2-2. Double wow.
Horn sounds, overtime. This game, which was screaming instant classic for the entire third period, seemingly was meant for extra play. For the first time in women’s hockey Olympic gold medal game history, the game is headed for overtime.
Time for “Captain America” Duggan to rally her troops.
In 2010 team USA battled team Canada in the men’s gold medal game in Vancouver, Canada. Fast forward four years, the women of the same countries are in the same exact scenario. Who will be the hero?
The first minute of overtime, which is a 20 minute 4-4 period, was littered with quality scoring chances by team USA, led by Knight. But no cigar.
The first four minutes of overtime was tense, intense and was played fast and wide-open; which is often the case in 4-4 scenarios.
At the 13:51 mark, the USA’s aggressiveness drew a penalty on Canada. USA was 1-4 on the power play earlier in the game. Team USA will get two minutes with an advantage of four skaters to three. Or so they thought. Five seconds into the power play team USA was called for a slash. Three skaters to three for 1:55, that’s a lot of open ice.
With 12:29 left in overtime, Knight denied a breakaway by a Canadian (maybe should have been ruled a penalty shot). Canada was on the power play.
Then, Canada would get a 5-3 advantage and they would capitalize. Poulin put in the game winning goal. She has a knack for scoring in gold medal games.
Team USA lost 3-2 to the Candians, who secured their fourth straight Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey.
Such a heartbreaking defeat for the USA, who had the gold medal in their grasp. An exciting game that will only fuel the rivalry but today…it’s just hard to accept.
Hell of a game, hell of a tournament for team USA. Brutal to lose on a 5-3 power play in overtime (maybe the rarest way to lose). That will not sit well with the Americans.
Congratulations to former Badger Meaghan Mikkelson who has a gold medal around her neck for team Canada.
Go USA, go former Badgers — you made us all proud.