USA Beats Canada in Shootout for 2018 Olympic Women's Hockey Gold Medal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 22:  Jocelyne Lamoureux #17 of the United States shoots the puck around Lauriane Rougeau #5 of Canada in overtime during the Women's Gold Medal Game on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson is an Olympic hero.

Lamoureux-Davidson gave the United States its first women's hockey Olympic gold medal since 1998 and bragging rights over archrival Canada for four years with the winning goal in a dramatic shootout at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after regulation and overtime ended in a 2-2 tie.

She deked Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados with the gold medal hanging in the balance, and American goaltender Maddie Rooney stuffed Meghan Agosta on the ensuing shot attempt to prevent a fifth straight gold for the Canadians.

Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored goals for the Americans in the shootout, while Agosta and Melodie Daoust found the back of the net for Canada in the losing effort.

Lamoureux-Davidson's twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, tied the contest at two goals apiece on a breakaway with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation. That set the stage for sudden-death drama, and both goaltenders stood strong in overtime despite golden opportunities for each side.

Szabados in particular was impressive, as the United States dictated play for much of the contest with a 42-31 advantage in shots on goal and six power plays, per NBC Olympics.

However, she had no chance against the shoulder fakes and stickwork of Lamoureux-Davidson at the end.

The thrilling showdown added another chapter to this historic rivalry in a gold-medal match that felt inevitable throughout the women's hockey tournament in Pyeongchang.

Except for the 2006 Games, the United States and Canada have played for gold in every major tournament since the start of women's hockey in the Olympics in 1998 and the IIHF Women's World Championship in 1990, as Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted earlier this month.

The location of the battles has proved critical, as the United States has won three straight world titles and eight of the last 10 while Canada took home the gold in each of the last four Olympics, per Scott Charles of NBC Sports.

The Americans flipped the script in the 2018 Games, though, and they wasted little time doing so in the early going. Their power plays were the initial story, as three one-woman advantages in the first period alone prevented Canada from consistently testing Rooney after they scored on her twice in a win during group play.

They also gave the American offense the opportunity to settle in and establish a rhythm even though it failed to capitalize on the first two. The third time was a charm, as Hilary Knight deflected Sidney Morin's shot into the back of the net with less than a minute left in the first period. In doing so, she accomplished the nearly impossible by scoring against Canada in the opening 20 minutes:

Despite playing on their heels for much of the first period, the Canadians seized momentum back in the second period.

Blayre Turnbull played the puck off the boards and fired a beautifully placed centering pass to Haley Irwin, who tied the game a mere two minutes into the second period. Agosta scooped up a loose puck less than five minutes later and found an open Marie-Philip Poulin in the attacking zone for the go-ahead goal.

It was only a matter of time before the clutch Poulin made her mark. It was her fifth goal in the last three gold-medal games.

It appeared as if Poulin's go-ahead score would be enough, as Szabados served as a brick wall for extended stretches and Canada continued its physical defense into the third period. It even got away with a hard hit on Brianna Decker right in front of its own net to break up a scoring chance:

However, a lackluster line change after missing a scoring chance cost the Canadians dearly, as Lamoureux-Morando found herself wide open for a breakaway and beat Szabados glove side to tie it and ultimately force overtime.

It was a foreshadowing moment, and Lamoureux-Davidson took advantage to create a golden memory in the shootout.

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