Canada defeats Team USA to reclaim Olympic women's hockey gold medal

Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin celebrates with her team after winning the gold medal in their women's hockey gold medal game against Team USA at the Wukesong Sports Center at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Thursday. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI
1 of 6 | Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin celebrates with her team after winning the gold medal in their women's hockey gold medal game against Team USA at the Wukesong Sports Center at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Thursday. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Team Canada defeated the Americans 3-2 on Thursday in Beijing to reclaim the Olympic women's hockey gold medal.

Captain Clutch Marie-Philip Poulin led Canada to victory with two goals, including yet another golden goal, making her the first hockey player of any sex to score in four Olympic gold medal games. Sara Nurse also scored for Canada and assisted on one of Poulin's, giving her an Olympic record 18 points on the tournament.


Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel each scored one for Team USA.

The two teams have faced off in six of the seven gold medal games there have been since the women's competition debuted at the Olympics in 1998, making it arguably hockey's greatest rivalry.

Team USA had snapped Canada's four-straight gold medal streak in Pyeongchang in 2018, handing the Canucks a 3-2 loss in the shootout. It was Team USA's first gold medal in 20 years and they were seeking to defend their title on Thursday at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing.


But the Canadians had other plans, and netted three goals by the halfway mark of the third period. And despite a valiant effort by Team USA to claw their way out of the deficit with two of their own by peppering the Canadian goal with 40 shots, nearly doubling that of their opponents, including two posts, it wasn't enough.

"I'm glad we're bringing it back to Canada," Poulin told CBC after the game.

The Americans on Thursday started the game fast, forcing the Canadian goalkeeper Ann-Renee Desbiens to come up with some big saves early.

And despite the U.S. pressure, Team Canada would score first but was ruled offside following a U.S. coach's challenge.

Having the goal taken back seemed to energize the Canadian women, who 30 seconds later netted the game's first goal at nearly the eight-minute mark.

Canada dominated Team USA in the face off dot all game, which played a factor in the first goal.

Poulin won the draw in the U.S. zone back to Claire Thompson at the point, who fired a pass to Nurse in between the hashmarks, who redirected the puck past Alex Cavallini and into the net.

Minutes later, Poulin would get her first of the game.


In the U.S. end, Kelly Pannek was trying to break the puck out when Poulin stole it with a stick lift before curling into the high slot, where she floated a wrister on net that snuck under the blocker arm of Cavallini.

Poulin would get her second of the game, which would end up being the golden goal, the third she has scored in Olympic play, with about five minutes left before the intermission.

Canadian defender Erin Ambrose from her own end flipped the puck into the neutral zone, where a streaking Nurse picked it up and carried it into the U.S. end, stopping up at the face off dot and hitting Brianner Jenner with a quick pass. Jenner then fired a shot on net with Poulin picking up the rebound and sliding it in.

The United States, however, wasn't going down without a fight and responded minutes later on the penalty kill.

With Megan Keller in the box for holding, star Hilary Knight took the puck on a 2-1 into the Canadian end and tried to get a shot on net that Ambrose blocked. However, Knight would pick up the loose puck and slide it in past Desbiens, who had already gone down on the shot to make the score 3-1.


Then in the third period with less than a minute and a half left, Poulin took a tripping penalty on Cayla Barnes, putting the Americans on the power play.

With the man advantage and the goalie pulled, Team USA applied the pressure on in the Canadian zone where the defense did all it could to prevent a comeback.

However, Amanda Kessel bashed in a loose puck in front of the net following a frenetic play, narrowing the U.S. deficit to one with 13 seconds to try and get another one.

Once play resumed, the seconds ticked off from the clock, Canada regained the title of Olympic women's hockey champions.

"I can't stop shaking. I just stopped crying," Sarah Fillier told CBC following the win. "This is just a dream come true."

Canada was perfect en route to the gold medal game, winning all six of its games, including handing Team USA its only preliminary loss.

Beijing Olympics: Women's ice hockey: USA vs. Czech Republic

USA's Hilary Knight (21) celebrates after scoring her team's first goal against the Czech Republic during their women's quarterfinals ice hockey match at the Wukesong Sports Center at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 11, 2022. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines