Miracle On Ice 2.0: Women’s Team USA Upsets Canada at PyeongChang

Alex St. Peters
Web Editor/Writer
astpeters@lc.edu

Team USA completed another “Miracle On Ice” this Olympics, but instead of being against the communist Soviet Union it was against our friends from the north in Team Canada.

The US Women’s hockey team defeated the reigning Canadian Women’s hockey team 3 to 2 after almost three hours of hockey in a shootout. This is the first time Canada has not won at the Olympics since Women’s hockey was first introduced in 1998. The US has faced Canada in five of the six years and have only won once in 1998. The US would lose to Canada the following year in 2002, then miss the gold medal game in 2006. Then they would suffer two close back to back losses in 2010 and 2014.

The first period of the game almost ended in a scoreless tie, but the US forward Hilary Knight would change that. The US would be first to strike in this game by scoring a late first-period power play goal. The goal would come on the third US power play attempt of the period. US forward Sidney Morin would take a shot on net with 25 seconds remaining in the period for it to be redirected by Knight to give the US a 1-0 lead going into the second.

During the intermission between the first and second period, NBC’s Pierre Mcguire would have a word with US forward Hilary Knight. Knight said, “ Obviously it’s the biggest game of our lives” and she would have no idea that her words would come true later that day.

It wouldn’t take long for the Canadians to answer, however. Canadian forward Blayre Turnbull would rush to puck into the US zone and chop the puck towards the net. Canadian forward Haley Irwin would tip the puck out of mid-air to tie up the game 1-1 only two minutes into the period.

The Canadians would strike again five minutes later to take a 2-1 lead over the Americans. Canadian forward Meghan Agosta would find the captain, Marie-Philip Poulin, waiting in the slot. With a falling US goalie, Maddie Rooney, Poulin would fire a shot on net to take the lead.

The game would go scoreless until there was 6:21 left in the third period. US forward Monique Lamoureux would catch the Canadians on a bad change. Lamoureux would receive an outlet pass from forward Kelly Pannek to go on a breakaway. She would come in on Canadian goalie, Shannon Szabados, to make a move that froze Szabados in her net. The game would be tied 2-2 to cause an exciting finish to this gold medal game.

After an unsuccessful overtime, this gold medal game would be decided in a shootout. The Canadians would shoot first, but come up short missing the first attempt in the shootout. The Americans, however, would score on a goal by Gigi Marvin to go up 1-0 in the shootout. The Canadians would answer with a goal from Meghan Agosta. The Americans would not score on their next two attempts. However, the Canadians would score on their fourth attempt on a beautiful goal by Melodie Daoust.

With the gold medal hanging in the balance US forward Amanda Kessel needed to score to help keep the dream alive. Kessel would back Szabados into her net before going top shelf to tie the shootout up 2-2. Both teams would miss on their final attempts of the shootout taking this shootout into sudden death. Per Olympic rules, teams would swap shooting positions in sudden death.

US forward Jocelyne Lamoureux would be the first shooter in sudden death. Lamoureux would come in slow to make a beautiful move that would fake out Szabados. Her move was reminiscent of TJ Oshie when he defeated the Russians in a shootout at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Down to the last shot in the shootout, Canadian forward Meghan Agosta would come in on US goalie Maddie Rooney. Rooney would make a huge save on Agosta to finally bring the gold medal back to the US since 1998.

According to Maddie Rooney, she has watched the replay of the save and celebration at least hundred times since the Olympics. Rooney has said, “We’re hoping to be as big an inspiration for the next generation as the last one was for us,” Rooney was only seven months old the last time the US won a gold medal. This win should teach girls all over America that they should never settle for second place and it should help grow the game of women’s hockey in America.

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