Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Staff via Getty Images
Canada edges United States to reclaim Olympic title
Saskatoon’s Emily Clark can now add an Olympic gold medal to her collection after she and the Canadian women’s hockey team defeated defending champions the United States 3-2 in the final on Day 13 of the Beijing Winter Games.
Canada got the first goal of the game twice.
Natalie Spooner scored 8 minutes and 15 seconds into the game, but a coach challenge by the United States led to a review and the goal was overturned based on an offside earlier in the play.
It didn’t take the Canadians long after that to officially put one on the board as Sarah Nurse redirected a pass from Claire Thompson to get the puck by American goaltender Alex Cavallini and put Canada up 1-0.
Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin increased the lead to two at 15:02, picking the pocket of a United States player before beating Cavallini blocker side with a wrist shot to give Canada a two-goal lead.
Just before the midway point of the second period, Poulin notched her second goal of the game, capitalizing on the rebound from a Brianne Jenner shot and increasing Canada’s lead to 3-0.
The United States finally broke the seal created by Canadian goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens with 3:21 left to play in the second as Hilary Knight scored short-handed to make the it 3-1 heading into the final in period.
With three minutes left in the third period, the Americans pulled Cavallini to get the six-to-five-player advantage, which turned into a two-player advantage when Poulin was called for a tripping penalty.
Canada killed the majority of the penalty, but Amanda Kessel was able to score for the Americans with 13 seconds remaining in the game. That goal let Poulin out of the box, but the United States kept Cavallini on the bench to maintain the one-player advantage.
It was ultimately too little too late for the United States, however, as Canada claimed the final victory.
Desbiens stopped 38 of 40 shots for the Canadians while Cavallini went 18 for 21 in net for the United States.
Watch game highlights on Youtube.com.
Olympic notes: Read the full Day 13 recap on Olympic.ca…Along with gold in women’s hockey, Canada’s Marielle Thompson won silver in women’s ski cross…Canada’s medal total is now 20 (Four gold, five silver and 11 bronze).