Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. women lose Olympic gold to Canada in OT

SOCHI, Russia — A two-goal lead blown in the final four minutes. A long shot that clanged off the post of an empty net. Two perplexing penalties in overtime, setting up a golden goal for Canada.

The U.S. women's hockey team has lost late in the past four Olympics but never in such heartbreaking fashion as its 3-2 defeat on Thursday.

While the Canadians received their fourth straight gold medals, the Americans were left blank-faced or crying at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Sixteen years after the United States won the inaugural Olympic tournament, these Americans thought Canada's Olympic mastery over them had finally waned.

Instead, the Americans have four more years to think about how the Canadians managed to seize their sport's biggest moment while the United States got left holding silver for the third time in four gold-medal games between the countries.

"To let them come back in the gold-medal game at the Olympics is the worst feeling in the world," said Kelli Stack, who nearly became a hero with a long clearing attempt that hit the right post of an empty net late in regulation with the Americans leading 2-1.

While going for the puck in the U.S. end, Canadian defenseman Catherine Ward collided with an official along the right boards. That allowed Stack to swoop in and shoot the puck toward Canada's net in the waning seconds.

Stack knew she wouldn't score. She could tell the puck was going to hit the post even before the clunk of rubber against metal. "If it would have been an inch to the right, it would have went in, and we would have won the gold medal," said Stack, shaking her head. "When pucks don't bounce your way, you've just got to know that it wasn't meant to be."

Said Canadian captain Caroline Ouellette, "There is a God."

Everything seemed dramatically different in the first 56 minutes. With a 2-0 lead, U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter appeared to be eminently capable of shutting out Canada for the first time in Olympic history.

"I just kept thinking 'We're going to win,' " U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said. "I said, 'There's no way they're going to score two goals on 'Vetts.' She's hot right now.' "

What happened next is what Duggan calls "crazy mode," those frantic final minutes when the goalie skates to the bench and her teammates try anything to will the puck into the net.

Canada's Brianne Jenner scored with 3:26 to play, banking a wide-flying shot off U.S. defenseman Kacey Bellamy's knee. "Bad puck luck," Bellamy said.

Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin's tying goal was another bad break: Vetter attempted a poke-check after the puck came out from behind the net, but it went straight to Poulin.

Even during the break before overtime, the Americans remained confident.

Then in overtime, the whistles started. Neither team could understand the referees' eagerness to call penalties in an Olympic overtime, which is already four-on-four hockey. Six seconds after Canadian defenseman Catherine Ward was sent off for a big hit near the net, American forward Jocelyne Lamoureux was penalized for slashing on a single whack at goalie Shannon Szabados' pads with the puck underneath them.

"It stinks to go into an overtime in an up-and-down game and have so many penalties called," Stack said.

Moments later, during three-on-three play, a bad U.S. line change gave a breakaway to Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser. American Hilary Knight swooped in from behind, and Wickenheiser tumbled to the ice.

The officials curiously called Knight for cross-checking instead of either awarding a penalty shot or allowing play to continue. Replays showed no significant contact between the two, except perhaps Knight's right skate clipping Wickenheiser's from behind, which isn't cross-checking.

"I didn't touch her," Knight said. "She fell. That was a bogus call. But it's not about any one call."

Said Wickenheiser: "The ref was a factor all night, and it worked out for our favor in the end."

Poulin — who scored both goals in Canada's 2-0 2010 gold-medal win — ended the game 39 seconds later.

Information from was used in this report.

Canada 0 0 2 1 3
United States 0 1 1 0 2
Canada 0 0 2 1 3
United States 0 1 1 0 2

First—No scoring. Penalties—Tara Watchorn, Can (body-check); Meaghan Mikkelson, Can (roughing); Hilary Knight, U.S. (cross-check); Watchorn, Can (trip); Kacey Bellamy, U.S. (hold).

Second—1, U.S., Meghan Duggan (Jocelyne Lamoureux), 11:57. Penalties—Kelli Stack, U.S. (hook); Anne Schleper, U.S. (cross-check).

Third—2, U.S., Alex Carpenter (Hilary Knight, Kelli Stack), 2:01 (pp). 3, Can, Brianne Jenner (Meaghan Mikkelson, Jocelyne Larocque), 16:34. 4, Can, Marie-Philip Poulin (Rebecca Johnston, Haley Irwin), 19:05. Penalties—Tara Watchorn, Can (trip).

OT—5, Can, Poulin (Laura Fortino), 8:10 (pp). Penalties—Catherine Ward, Can (cross-check); Jocelyne Lamoureux, U.S. (slash); Hilary Knight, U.S. (cross-check). SOG—U.S. 11-5-8-5—29. Can 9-8-10-4—31. Goalies—U.S., Jessie Vetter. Can, Shannon Szabados. Ref—Joy Tottman, Britain. Linesmen—Ilona Novotna, Czech Republic; Zuzana Svobodova, Czech Republic; Mikhail Buturlin, Russia; Roman Gofman, Russia.

U.S. women lose Olympic gold to Canada in OT 02/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 1:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)