Woe Canada! USA soars with a late-night victory
GANGNEUNG, South Korea
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson skated slowly back and forth toward the net, showing forehand, then leaning quickly to the left to fake a backhand that pulled Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados out of the crease.
On the sport’s biggest stage, against the Americans’ greatest rival, with all her teammates leaning eagerly over the boards watching her every move, the three-time Olympian came back to her forehand to finish off a dazzling, triple-deke move by sliding the puck into the net past the outstretched glove of Szabados for the deciding goal in the sixth round of a shootout thriller.
“I knew when that went in that Maddie was going to stop the next one,” Lamoureux-Davidson said.
That would be 20-year-old goalie Maddie Rooney, who stuffed the last two Canadian shooters to wrap up a 3-2 victory Thursday that snapped the Americans’ 20-year gold medal drought and ended Canada’s bid for a fifth straight title in the first shootout in an Olympic women’s final.
The Americans piled over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before piling on top of Rooney on the ice — 20 years after their last gold medal in women’s hockey and 38 years to the day after the men’s famous “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet team in group play at Lake Placid.
“Joy’s the only word that comes to mind,” said Gigi Marvin, a three-time Olympian and at 30 the oldest American on the roster.
Even President Donald Trump, who has been mostly silent on Twitter about the Olympics, got in on the celebration. He tweeted his congratulations to the team.
This victory, earned while most of America was asleep, capped a year that started with the Americans threatening a boycott of the world championships to secure more money and the same kind of treatment that USA Hockey gives to the men’s team.
“They should make a movie on it,” forward Hilary Knight said. “We had all the drama and everything. It’s sort of a storybook ending to an incredible series of accomplishments.”
Nothing was more incredible than the move by Lamoureux-Davidson, who decided to use the deke called “Oops, I did it again “ — something she had practiced uncounted times in practice, skating around tires set up on open ice to mimic defenders.
“I’m just thrilled beyond words,” the beaming Lamoureux-Davidson said with a U.S. flag draped around her shoulders and gold hanging on her chest. “I’ve butchered it a thousand times, just ran into tires, tripped over tires just working on my hands. Just glad it worked out this time.”
Knight gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados’ pads to give the Americans a jolt of energy.
That lasted only 2 minutes into the second when Haley Irwin tipped a midair pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney’s left leg for Canada. And when Morin lost the puck, Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta who hit Marie-Philip Poulin for the wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.
Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation.