Leading 2-0 with just five minutes remaining in the final game of the 2014 Olympic women’s hockey tournament, it looked like the United States would finally put an end to Canada’s gold medal streak.
With barely a minute left in regulation, Canada had pulled its goalie when a clearance shot by the U.S. nearly clinched the game for the Yanks. Instead the puck rattled off of the post, leaving the door open for Canada to rally and send the game into overtime.
“I was freaked out at that point,” Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque told ESPN. “It hit the post and I went, ‘You know, it happened for a reason. We’re going to get that goal.”’
Then at the 19:05 mark of the third period, Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin scored to tie the game at two goals apiece. She would score again in overtime to clinch the 3-2 victory for Canada. The win gave Canada its fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey.
It was a tough pill to swallow for the United States, which also lost to Canada 3-2 during group play. Especially considering the questionable nature of some penalty calls by the game’s officials.
Many Albion students were taking a break from classes to tune in to the game. A quick glance at Facebook or Twitter showed just how much buzz surrounded the matchup. Most were disappointed that the United States lost.
“I was upset when we lost,” said Zander Tu, Grosse Pointe Woods junior. “I’m a big hockey fan and was really pulling for our team. I felt like the refs made some bad calls in overtime. I didn’t like the way the game ended, but I thought overall it was great for hockey.”
An intense rivalry has developed between the two nations over the years, as both have jockeyed for international hockey supremacy. During a pre-Sochi matchup in December, referees gave out 10 major penalties after a fight between the teams late in the third period.
The United States defeated Canada to win the inaugural Olympic women’s hockey tournament in 1998. Since then, the U.S. has won 3 silver medals and one bronze, while Canada has won four straight gold medals. There is no denying our northern neighbor’s hockey supremacy.
“Hockey is one of the few things Canada can really claim as their specialty, and the Americans are always near the top of the competition,” said Matthew LeFevre, Canton senior. “It’s a great rivalry between two otherwise very friendly nations.
Although the women’s tournament is over, the United States will have a chance for redemption this afternoon when its men’s hockey team squares off against Canada in a semifinal game at 12:00 p.m.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons