Canada captured a third consecutive Olympic women’s ice hockey title on Thursday, defeating arch-rival United States 2-0 in an emotional championship match on home ice. Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice in the first period and goaltender Shannon Szabados made 28 saves to bring Canada the victory and bragging rights in a border war arch-rivalry between the sport’s only two women’s powers. The Americans, two-time reigning world champions, settled for a silver medal while Finland took bronze with an earlier 3-2 overtime triumph over Sweden.
“We have no excuses. They played well,” US coach Mark Johnson said. “Their young goaltender played well. She didn’t give us many second opportunities. She came in with the pressure of a nation on her and she never cracked. Szabados surrendered only one goal while making 50 saves in Canada’s undefeated run to gold. “She was awesome,” Canada’s Gillian Apps said. “She was amazing – no other words to describe it.”
The Americans had hoped to spoil Canada’s party on home ice as the Canadians had done to them in Salt Lake City in 2002, but now they must wait until Sochi for another chance at Olympic revenge. Better luck next time US!