Canada prevailed over rival USA to claim the gold medal for women’s hockey in the 2022 Winter Games.
The Canadian team, which includes seven out players – more than any other team at the Olympics – defeated defending Olympic champions Team USA 3-2 in a thrilling match-up Thursday in Beijing.
Canada struck early in the first period of play, with what appeared to be a goal in the first seven minutes of play. However, the U.S. challenged the goal, and the play was ruled offside. Seconds later, however, Canadian Sarah Nurse scored on a faceoff, giving Canada a 1-0 lead.
Canada would score two more goals in the tournament, both by Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored in the first and second periods.
The United States rallied with a goal in the second period by Hilary Knight, and another by Amanda Kessel in the final seconds of the game. It was not enough, however, to overcome the deficit.
“Every experience [is] pretty unique, but this one in particular is very special. Like, it’s a genuine feeling that everybody has toward each other … this whole process was a team effort from the staff,” said Poulin, who is the Canadian team captain, while speaking to reporters following the victory. “This team was happy with each other’s success. Everybody was celebrating little things. And I think that says it all. And when everyone is in it for the right reason, good things happen.”
Thursday’s match up marks the sixth time the two teams have faced each other in an Olympic final. Canada has won gold in five of those Games, with the U.S. taking top prize in 1998 – the first year women’s hockey was played in the Games – and 2018.
Outsports reports that at least 36 known out athletes are competing at this winter’s Games, with most of the women’s hockey teams featuring at least one out player. Forward Alex Carpenter is the out athlete who plays for Team USA.
Canada has seven out players, more than any other team: Brianne Jenner, Erin Ambrose, Emily Clark, Mélodie Daoust, Jamie Lee Rattay, Jill Saulnier, and Micah Zandee-Hart.