Thanks to a convincing first third, Maple Leaf beat arch-rivals USA in the final.
When Amanda Kessel scored the 2-3 goal for USA 13 seconds left, things got tense again at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing. But the Canadians didn’t let that deter them, and after a few moments they were able to celebrate their victory in the final, and thus their fifth victory at the Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. Swiss woman in the middle: Anna Wiegand officiated as referee.
Over and over again Pauline
Canada had celebrated with a 7-minute lead, a little against the tide of the match. But the American coaches resumed in defiance form. And indeed: Natalie Spooner’s goal was preceded by an offside, so everything went back to zero. No problem for the Canadians: Sarah Nurse, cousin of Oilers defender Darnell Norse, scored a deflection (8′) after just half a minute in a rule-compliant fashion. With a smooth shot, Marie-Philippe Paulin (16th place) made it 2-0. It was the fifth goal in the tournament for both of them.
When Pauline made it 3-0 again after the first break (30) and after 6 minutes the power game came, the initial decision was up in the air. But Hillary Knight’s palace to 1:3 outnumbered them. The US team women have now smelled a rat, but the big turning point didn’t materialize. Even in two strength-playing positions, neither hit seems to work at first. That changed with Kessels 2:3, which, as is known, came too late. As with the 4-2 loss in the group stage, the US team shot from all positions. However, Ann-Renée Desbiens pulled off just about everything in the Canadian chest.
Canada Team Clock
And so the world champion made the double champion title ideal with an Olympic victory. The rivalry also has a tradition under the Five Rings: since its Olympic premiere in 1998 in Nagano, the women’s ice hockey final has always been USA vs. Canada, with the exception of 2006 (Canada-Sweden). In 5 out of 7 cases, the Canadian team left the ice as the winner, not like it happened 4 years ago in Pyeongchang. In Beijing, the Maple Leaf avenged itself twice: first with success in the group stage and then – and most importantly – in the final as well.
The win for the Canadians, who defeated Switzerland 10:3 in the semi-finals, was well-deserved along the entire tournament. They have won all seven of their matches with a goal difference of 57:10.
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