The Canadians are back on top. After a dominant tournament, they were able to finish the job, beating the Americans en route to a gold medal.
The meetings between these two teams never disappoint. When they met in the preliminary round, Canada won 4-2. There is always so much passion, hatred and energy. This one was no different.
Canada opened the scoring with a goal from Natalie Spooner. With a challenge by the American coaches, it was quickly discovered that the goal was off-side. The goal was called back and the score remained 0-0.
Just minutes later, Sarah Nurse deflected a shot from Claire Thompson to make it 1-0 for the Canadians. Captain Clutch, Marie-Philip Poulin did what she does best and scored in a gold medal game. With five minutes to go in the first, Poulin made it 2-0.
If you thought Poulin was done, you were wrong. She scored the seventh Olympic gold medal game goal of her career at the halfway point of the game. Poulin is the only hockey player ever to score in four different Olympic gold medal games. Team Canada led 3-0.
Nurse recorded an assist on this goal which brought her to 18 points and 13 assists. She now holds the record for most points and most assists in a single Olympic women’s hockey tournament.
It was now time for the Americans to get on the board. Hilary Knight got a dangerous chance on the penalty kill and capitalized. She brought USA within two with a whole period still left to be played.
Canada went on the defensive in the third and tried to keep the USA to as few chances as possible. Ann-Renee Desbiens made all the necessary saves to keep her team ahead by two. With just minutes remaining, the USA was throwing everything they could at the net. They had Alex Cavallini pulled for the extra attacker when Poulin took a tripping penalty with just under a minute and a half remaining in the game. Amanda Kessel scored on the power-play to bring the Americans within one but it was too little too late as only 13 seconds remained.
Canada held on to win their fifth Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey, reclaiming their place at the top after the 2018 heartbreak.
Brianne Jenner was named tournament MVP and tied the record for most goals in a single Olympics. This team also set a record for most goals scored in the women’s hockey tournament with 57. An incredible offensive performance from the top down.
This team will go down as one of the greatest teams in Canadian Olympic history. An undefeated tournament with so many broken records. This team was special and they completed what they set out to do.