US 3, Canada 2 (SO)

US wins gold medal in women’s hockey

TOPSHOT - Team USA celebrates winning after a penalty shootout in the women's gold medal ice hockey match between Canada and the US during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan SmialowskiBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty
The US women are ecstatic after finally knocking off archrival Canada for the gold.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson skated slowly toward the net, showing forehand, then leaning quickly to the left to fake a backhand that pulled Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados out of the crease.

On the sport’s biggest stage, against the Americans’ greatest rival, with her teammates leaning eagerly over the boards watching her every move, the three-time Olympian came back to her forehand to finish off a dazzling, triple-deke move by sliding the puck into the net past the outstretched glove of Szabados for the deciding goal in the sixth round of a shootout thriller.

‘‘I knew when that went in that Maddie was going to stop the next one,’’ Lamoureux-Davidson said.


That would be 20-year-old goalie Maddie Rooney, who stuffed the last Canadian shooter to wrap up a 3-2 victory Thursday that snapped the Americans’ 20-year gold-medal drought and ended Canada’s bid for a fifth straight title in the first shootout in an Olympic women’s final.

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The Americans piled over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before piling on top of Rooney on the ice — 20 years after their last gold medal in women’s hockey and 38 years to the day after the men’s famous ‘‘Miracle on Ice’’ victory over the Soviet team at Lake Placid, N.Y.

‘‘Joy’s the only word that comes to mind,’’ said Gigi Marvin, a three-time Olympian and at 30 the oldest American on the roster.

This victory capped a year that started with the Americans threatening a boycott of the world championships to secure more money and the same kind of treatment that USA Hockey gives to the men’s team.

US goalie Maddie Rooney is met by her teammates after stopping Canada’s final shootout attempt.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty
US goalie Maddie Rooney is met by her teammates after stopping Canada’s final shootout attempt.

‘‘They should make a movie on it,’’ forward Hilary Knight said. ‘‘We had all the drama and everything. It’s sort of a storybook ending to an incredible series of accomplishments.’’


Nothing was more incredible than the move by Lamoureux-Davidson, who decided to use the deke called ‘‘Oops, I Did It Again” — something she had practiced uncounted times, skating around tires set up on the ice.

‘‘I'm just thrilled beyond words,’’ the beaming Lamoureux-Davidson said with a US flag draped around her shoulders and gold hanging on her chest. ‘‘I've butchered it a thousand times, just ran into tires, tripped over tires just working on my hands. Just glad it worked out this time.’’

Her twin, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, said coach Peter Elander, now at Ohio State, had taught the sisters the shootout move when the three were at the University of North Dakota.

‘‘Not everyone can take the pressure like that, and she took it like a champ,’’ she said.

Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored in the shootout, another nail-biter ending four years after Canada won its fourth straight gold medal in Sochi after rallying to stun the Americans in overtime.


Knight gave the US a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first period, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados’s pads to give the Americans a jolt of energy.

That lasted only two minutes into the second when Haley Irwin tipped a midair pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney’s left leg for Canada. And when Morin lost the puck, Canada’s Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta, who hit Marie-Philip Poulin for a wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.

Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation. Rooney was spectacular, making 29 saves for the win.

Rooney stopped the last two Canadian shooters in the shootout — Brianne Jenner and then Agosta on her second attempt.

Pressure? Rooney’s grin was clear to see throughout the shootout.

‘‘Right before she came down, I just looked over at the bench and saw my teammates, like, pointing at me, just one more,’’ Rooney said. ‘‘And to have their support made it a whole lot easier.

“I just reacted to her, and then everything kind of went into a blur.’’

It was sweet redemption for the 10 Americans who watched the Canadians snatch gold away in Sochi four years ago. Not only did the Americans end the Canadians’ stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rivals coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss in the tournament a week ago.

Canada's Meghan Agosta skates away as the US celebrates.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Canada's Meghan Agosta skates away as the US celebrates.

‘‘It is everything for our country,’’ US coach Robb Stauber said. ‘‘I am just so thankful for the outcome. It was a thrilling final. It was unreal.’’

The Canadians, who had pushed the Americans around for much of the game and taken penalties for it, wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals. Jocelyne Larocque took hers off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans stood nearby awaiting their gold.

‘‘It’s just hard,’’ Larocque said. ‘‘You work so hard. We wanted gold but didn’t get it.’’

The Canadians said they didn’t like the shootout format, preferring overtime to settle a game of such magnitude.

‘‘We've trained so hard,’’ Agosta said. ‘‘It’s unfortunate this had to come down to a shootout. When it comes down to a shootout, it can be anybody’s game.’’

Added Canada coach Laura Schuler, ‘‘There’s not a lot of words that can describe how you feel. It was a great game of hockey. It’s what we expected: back and forth hockey.’’

Nathan Denette/CP via AP
Canada's Lauriane Rougeau comforts forward Rebecca Johnston.

The Americans had dominated the women’s game in non-Olympic years, winning the last four and eight of the last 10 world championships, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada last spring.

It only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in the way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano in 1998.

Canada had won 24 straight Olympic games to go along with those four consecutive gold medals — a streak of success in a women’s team sport second only to the US basketball team’s current streak of six straight gold.

This was the eighth time these North American rivals had met in the Olympics and the fifth with gold on the line. No game has been decided by more than two goals.

Stauber went with Rooney in net after she won the only three games the US took from Canada last fall during a pre-Olympic exhibition tour.

And like Lamoureux-Davidson, the youngster delivered in the biggest moment.

‘‘Everything got into a blur, seeing my teammates sprinting at me,’’ Rooney said. ‘‘It’s an indescribable feeling.’’