On Thursday night in Sochi, Canada's streak of gold medals at the Olympics was extended to four with their spectacular 3-2 come from behind victory over Team USA. The Americans blew a 2 goal lead late in the third period and once again found themselves with silver instead of gold.
The first frame of the spirited North American battle found both teams' special teams units getting plenty of ice time. Almost half the frame was spent five on four with five total power plays being called, three on Team Canada, two on Team USA. While the US had more shots and scoring opportunities in the opening period, they were unable to get the puck past Canada's starting netminder Shannon Szabados.
Canada started off the second period strong, but it was the Americans who got on the board first. At the 11:57 mark, U.S.A. captain Meghan Duggan potted her first goal of the tournament. Less than a minute after Duggan's goal, her team took consecutive penalties which resulted in more than 3 minutes of power play time for Canada including 31 seconds of five on three time. As in the first period, American penalty kill was up to the task. The second stanza ended with Team USA holding on to a 1-0 lead.
Tara Watchorn of Team Canada took a penalty seven seconds into the third period. The US finally solved their power play issues and Alex Carpenter scored a layup goal on the power play to expand the US lead to 2-0. With less than four minutes to go in the game, the Americans looked to be in position to have gold medals dangling from their necks. The women from Canada refused to go quietly. Brianne Jenner scored on a deflection off American defender Kacey Bellamy with 3:26 less in regulation. Canada pulled Szabados with 1:35 left in the final frame. The Us almost immediately scored an empty net goal, but the puck hit the post. With 55 seconds left, Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game up. Regulation ended with the teams knotted up at two goals a piece.
The amazing play in overtime was marred by questionable officiating. All three calls made by the British referee could have easily been seen differently, especially her first two calls on Canadian Catherine Ward and American Jocelyne Lamoureaux . The last call, cross checking to Hilary Knight on a quasi-breakaway by Canadian veteran forward Haley Wickenheiser, gave Canada the advantage they needed. Poulin again turned out to be the hero putting the puck past USA goaltender Jessie Vetter to secure another gold for the Canucks.
- Switzerland also came back from a 2-0 deficit to win earlier in the day. They defeated Sweden 4-3 and get to take home bronze medals.
- Arizona's lone US Olympian, Team USA's Lyndsey Fry will be coming home with a silver medal.