After one of the greatest women’s gold medal games in Olympic history, it was Team Canada that beat Team USA by a score of 3-2 on Thursday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia. The contest was the first women's gold medal overtime game ever in the Winter Games.
Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin scored the game-winning goal just eight minutes and 10 seconds into the sudden death period while her team was on a five-on-three power play. Poulin also scored the game-tying goal in the third period.
After losing to the Canadians in the group stage and taking the early lead in the third period of the championship game, Team USA was forced to settle for a silver medal.
Switzerland also beat Sweden, 4-3, in an exciting bronze-medal game earlier in the day, but all of the headlines have been stolen by this epic gold-medal battle.
|Women's Scores from Final Day|
|Bronze||Switzerland 4, Sweden 3|
|Gold||Canada 3, United States 2|
Here are the final medal winners for the women's tournament:
|2014 Winter Olympics Women's Ice Hockey Medal Winners|
|Source: Sochi 2014.com|
Gold-Medal Game: Canada Defeats Team USA, 3-2
Despite having a two-goal lead with over three minutes left in the game, Team USA missed the chance to lock up a gold medal and couldn’t keep the Canadians from mounting a comeback before eventually taking the championship to overtime.
Once in overtime, Team Canada stunned the United States and pulled out the victory.
After a first period that was clearly a defensive battle, it was Team USA that dominated the second and earned the hard-fought 1-0 lead for their trouble. American forward and captain Meghan Duggan scored the lone goal.
Duggan told Kevin Oklobzija of the USA Today before Thursday’s gold-medal game about what the matchup meant:
But it's always revenge against them. I'm still working on revenge from Vancouver. You come up short in that one, it doesn't feel good any time you lose a game, so we're obviously looking for revenge.
The third period featured Team USA adding a second goal from Alexandra Carpenter, but it was two late goals in the third period from team Canada—courtesy of Brianne Jenner and Poulin—that tied the score and swung momentum into the favor of the Canadians.
That led to an exciting overtime period and Team Canada taking home the victory. Duggan talked about revenge, and now the American women have four more years to dwell on this heartbreaking loss.
Bronze-Medal Game: Switzerland Defeats Sweden, 4-3
While most of the focus was on the gold-medal game between team USA and Team Canada, the battle for the bronze medal was a thrilling battle for third place in the women’s tournament.
Switzerland’s win sent shockwaves through the sport:
Team Sweden was favored in this battle, but Team Switzerland leaned heavily on goalie Florence Schelling to keep in contention through the first two periods. After Sweden scored a goal in both the first and second periods—Michelle Lowenhielm and Erica Uden Johansson respectively—the Swiss looked overpowered and mentally frustrated.
Everything changed in the third period.
Switzerland’s Sara Benz opened the scoring early in the third period, and the team built on that momentum when Phoebe Stanz scored a power-play goal less than five minutes later. With just over six minutes remaining in the game, Jessica Lutz scored the go-ahead goal.
The teams exchanged goals late in the third period, with Alina Muller scored for team Switzerland and Pernilla Winberg for Sweden, but it was the Swiss that were able to secure the 4-3 victory and the bronze medal.
This epic battle set the stage for Thursday’s gold-medal matchup.
Updated Medal Standings