Up 2-0 with 3:30 to play in the 3rd period in the women’s hockey gold medal game, the United States could sense the gold medal.
Brianne Jenner’s goal for Canada at with 3:26 to play made it 2-1, and the pressure quickly turned to the Americans.
The US women hadn’t won olympic gold since 1998 and the clock couldn’t trickle down fast enough.
With just over a minute to play, the Americans got a huge break after the linesman collided with Catherine Ward which allowed Kelli Stack to throw the puck towards the vacated Canada goal.
Like the clock, the puck couldn’t move towards the net fast enough. The puck ended up inches, if not centimeters away from going in and clanked off the post. The US was so close, yet so far. The Canadians then quickly rushed up the ice to tie the game breaking the hearts of the Americans.
The game headed to overtime where Hayley Wickenheiser broke free on a breakaway for Canada. Wickenheiser was chased down by Hillary Knight who according to the refs, took down Wickenheiser.
After watching this play multiple times, there doesn’t look to be much, if any contact initiated by Knight. If anything, Wickenheiser appeared to take a dive on the play.
Canada went on the power-play, and a pass from Laura Fortino ricocheted off US goalie Jessie Vetter before falling on the lap of Marie-Philip Poulin in front of the net. Poulin faked out Vetter and scored the game-winner just over 8 minutes into the over-time session to give Canada its 4th straight olympic gold medal in women’s hockey.
Poulin’s goal was highly reminiscent of Sidney Crosby’s overtime winner in Vancouver, a goal that shattered the hearts of the American faithful.
Whether Knight really cross-checked Wickenheiser is a moot point. The US had a 2-goal lead with 3 and a half minutes to play and couldn’t get the job done. Canada executed when it mattered, and the Americans faltered.
The worst part about it is the US will have to wait 4-years before it can have another crack against Canada. Four years is basically an eternity.
In what’s become an olympic tradition, the US men will have their chance to take down the mighty Canadians in the semi-finals.
The US men’s hockey team is still looking for its first olympic gold since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”.