PYEONGCHANG, February 22, 2018. – Team USA women’s hockey has finally won the gold medal for the first time since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Just like their rivalry, it was an intense game till the final shootout.
The Women’s Hockey rivalry between the USA and Canada
USA women came from behind, defeating Canada 3-2 on Thursday at the Gangeneung Hockey Center. Thanks to USA’ putting pressure on Team Canada, the game was forced into overtime and later a penalty shootout. Team USA won the shootout, thanks to Jocelyn Lamoruex-Morando who scored in the first round of the extra round and to U.S. goaltender Maddie Rooney blocked Team Canada’s Meghan Agosta.
LAMOUREUX’S WINNER. USA GETS GOLD pic.twitter.com/zzPWyilraE
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 22, 2018
Rooney, who comes into the Olympics as a rookie, stopped 29 shots in regulation and the 20-minute overtime. On Team Canada, Shannon Szabados made 39 saves. Team USA won seven of the last eight World Championships, but came up short in the Olympics since 1998, losing the gold medal to Canada three times.
Team USA’s Hilary Knight scored a goal during a power-play in the first period. After Team Canada secured a 2-1 lead, Monique Lamoreux-Morando nailed a breakaway shot to close the gap and tie it 2-2.
From then on, it was a slugfest.
No way to end an Olympic Women’s Hockey game
Team USA players have often told the media that this was the biggest game of their careers. Now they are leaving South Korea with gold around their necks. While the game was intense and full of pulse-pounding action, some fans and former hockey players are criticizing the outcome, focusing on the shootout.
Former Canadian Olympian Tessa Bonhomme said a shootout is not how you decide the end.
What a shitty way to end a great Gold medal final. Shootout isnt the way you decide this. Too much work and sacrifice put into a tournament like this. #Garbage
— Tessa Bonhomme (@Tessab25) February 22, 2018
Decorated Olympic medalist Julie Chu criticized the use of the shootout. She asked if we could play more 4v4 or 3v3 hockey instead of a shootout. She points to the intense rivalry that Canada and the United States Women’s Hockey teams have had for many years.
It might be time Olympic officials review the game rules and possibly eliminate the shootout and stick with the standard overtime rules of 4v4 hockey. While a shootout is intense, 4v4 hockey will keep fans on the edge of their seats and the game will be decided on a teamwork level instead of a player versus goalie atmosphere.