GANGNEUNG, South Korea – The Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team will return home to Canada with silver medals following a shootout loss to the United States on Thursday afternoon.
Canada and the United States exchanged leads throughout the game, with the Americans getting on the board first on a power-play goal by their captain, Hilary Knight, in the closing seconds of the first frame. Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) tied things up at the two-minute mark of the second period, and Canada’s captain Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) netted the go-ahead goal for the red-and-white less than three minutes later.
Canada retained the lead until Monique Lamoureux-Morando beat Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta.) at 13:39 of the third period to tie things up between the cross-border rivals. The score remained tied at two through 20 minutes of four-on-four overtime action, and even the first round of the shootout saw the teams at a stalemate with two goals and three misses apiece. It was Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson who bookended the U.S. scoring, earning the game-winning goal in the shootout. [Full game story and stats available at HockeyCanada.ca.]
“Right now, it’s really tough, obviously. When you play in the final, you want to win. It was a good game; both teams gave their all. It’s sad to lose in a shootout,” said Poulin of heading home with a silver medal for Canada after winning two gold medals at her first two Olympic appearances. She remarked that Thursday’s nail-biter put the female game on display for the excitement it brings to fans. “Every four years we elevate the way we play; obviously, for women’s hockey, it’s great. We played great. It shows how much women’s hockey is growing.”
Canada finished the Games with a 4-1 record after going undefeated in its preliminary match-ups against the Olympic Athletes from Russia, Finland, and the United States. Canada advanced to the gold-medal game after a 5-0 semifinal victory over the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Feb. 19.
“It’s hard [to lose in the shootout]. There are not a lot of words to describe how you feel, but you know it was a great game of hockey,” said head coach Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont.). “That was what we expected – back-and-forth hockey. It was a battle until the end. It’s always been back-and-forth hockey for the past 20 years. It was obviously a great game, but not the outcome we wanted.”
Szabados, who made 36 saves in the gold-medal game, received the IIHF Directorate Award as Top Goaltender, while Canadians Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./McGill University, RSEQ) and Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Markham, CWHL) were also recognized for their tournament play, being selected to the All-Star Team as top forward and top defenceman respectively. Daoust was also named the tournament MVP.
In addition to its four gold medals (2014, 2010, 2006, 2002), Canada’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team also claimed silver in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. PyeongChang 2018 marked the sixth time women’s hockey has been part of the Olympic Winter Games.
The women’s Olympic team is schedule to depart from South Korea on Monday, Feb. 26. Canadian player airport arrival information will be issued in the coming days prior to departure from the Olympic village.