In the third straight edition of USA vs. Canada in the women’s Olympic hockey gold medal game, the Americans flipped the script. Team USA rode a Jocelyne Lamoureux winner in a six-frame shootout to break a dramatic 80-minute 2-2 deadlock and earn a gold medal for the first time since 1998. Shootouts suck, but the knockout blow was gorgeous.
The U.S. got off to a great start, heading into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Hilary Knight in the opening period’s final minute. But Canada came back, notching two goals in the second period to regain the upper hand. But with six minutes to go in the third, Monique Lamoureux (Jocelyne’s twin sister) scored an out-of-nowhere breakaway equalizer that sent the game to overtime. Because, for some reason, we couldn’t have NHL playoff-style endless sudden death, even in a gold medal game, this was the last goal of the tournament. That’s just fine for the U.S.
Without trying to sound like a biased American, this was a strangely officiated game, with an aggressive Canadian team escaping penalties on several occasions. Here, most notably, is a third-period hit on Brianna Decker that did not draw a whistle.
But that doesn’t matter now. Team USA won, and they break Canada’s staggering gold medal streak that’s been active since 2002. Only in the inaugural women’s hockey Olympic tournament—in 1998—has Canada not taken home the top prize, and—what do you know—the Americans beat them in that final too. This rivalry is the best.