RSS
 Add News     Print  
Article List
Golden Canada pip US in OT Swiss edge Sweden for women’s bronze

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 20, (Agencies): Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice for the second straight Olympic gold medal game and Canada beat the United States 3-2 in overtime on Thursday for its fourth consecutive title. Canada trailed 2-0 before Brianne Jenner and Poulin scored in the final 3:26 of regulation, and Poulin had the game-winner with a power play goal at 8:10 of overtime. Shannon Szabados made 27 saves for Canada, which has won 20 straight in the Winter Games since the Nagano final in 1998. That was the only gold medal for the United States, which has lost in the Olympic final to Canada three times since then. Jesse Vetter made 28 saves for the Americans. Meghan Duggan and Alex Carpenter scored for the US Switzerland beat Sweden for the bronze medal earlier Thursday.

Vetter, the loser in the Vancouver final, had a shutout until Jenner’s seemingly harmless shot deflected off a defender’s knee and into the net. With the goalie pulled for an extra skater, US forward Kelli Stack sent the puck the length of the ice before it clanged off the post and landed harmlessly in front of the goal. It was still a one-goal game, but not for long. With Szabados still off, Poulin scored just 54.6 seconds before the end of regulation. After six tense minutes of overtime, the US picked up a power play when Catherine Ward was sent off for cross-checking. But five seconds later, Jocelyne Lamoureux was called for slashing for swiping at the goalie’s pads after a save. And during a bad player change by the Americans, five-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser got free on a breakaway before she was bumped from behind by Hilary Knight and sent sprawling.

It could have been called a penalty shot. It could have been no call. But Knight was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking. With the 4-on-3 advantage, the Canadians worked the puck around and over to Poulin, who knocked it into the open net and set off the celebration on the bench and among the Maple Leaf-waving fans.

Swiss 4, Sweden 3
Switzerland won their first medal in women’s ice hockey after rallying from a two-goal deficit to beat Sweden 4-3 in a frenetic bronze medal game on Thursday. Trailing 2-0 going into the final period, Switzerland came to life with goals from Sara Benz, Phoebe Stanz, Jessica Lutz and an empty netter from Alina Muller. “It’s an amazing feeling,” Muller told reporters. “It’s amazing we came back from 2-0 down.” Canada and the United States will play for the gold later on Thursday. Sweden, the 2006 silver medallists, had looked comfortably on course for the win as they controlled the first two periods. But Switzerland fought back with two goals in the opening six minutes of the last period, first when Benz pounced on a loose puck near the top of the crease and five minutes later when Stanz tallied on a powerplay. With under seven minutes to play and the game tied, Sweden were unable to clear their zone and the Swiss made them pay as Lutz sent a perfect pass from Lara Stalder flying into the net.

Muller’s empty-net goal with 67 seconds to play proved crucial to Switzerland’s medal hopes as Sweden managed to get one back in the closing minute of a wild period. The final buzzer set off a crazy celebration among the Swiss players, who mobbed each other in the corner of the rink. The despondent Swedish team were littered on the ice and their bench staring down at their yellow jerseys. “It sucks. We have been playing really well through the tournament but we lost all of it in that third period,” said Jenni Asserholt, who assisted on Sweden’s last-minute goal. “It feels really tough to accept. We just messed up.” After finishing last in their group during the preliminary round, Switzerland beat Russia in the quarter-finals before losing in the semi-finals to Canada.

Since women’s ice hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Nagano Games, Canada and the United States have competed for every gold medal except one. The lone exception came in 2006 when Sweden lost to Canada in the final. Finland and Sweden had been the only countries apart from the two North American ice hockey superpowers to reach an Olympic podium, a trend that put the women’s tournament under the microscope in Sochi. “Hopefully, we can just get better from here,” said Stanz. “Women’s hockey is going to be taken seriously, especially in Europe.”

Read By: 850
Comments: 0
Rated:

Comments
You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us