News / USA

    Women's Olympic Hockey Players Reflect on Classic Gold Medal Match

    Team Canada players pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony after Canada defeated Team USA in overtime in the women's ice hockey final game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
    Team Canada players pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony after Canada defeated Team USA in overtime in the women's ice hockey final game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
    Parke Brewer
    The U.S. women's Olympic ice hockey team suffered a devastating 3-2 overtime loss to archrival Canada in the gold medal match at the Sochi Winter Games Thursday night. The Americans and Canadians took time to reflect on the instant classic match at separate news conferences Friday.
     
    There is no doubt the women's ice hockey gold medal match here will long live in the memories of both teams, the fans and media who attended, and those who watched the game on television around the world.
     
    For the Canadians, it was a stunning comeback from a 2-0 third-period deficit to tie the game in the final minute of regulation. They did it by pulling their goalie out of the net for an extra attacker to get the equalizer, and then won it with a power play goal in overtime shortly before midnight Thursday to make the final 3-2.
     
    For the U.S., which won the first women's Olympic ice hockey tournament in Nagano in 1998 but saw Canada take the titles at the last three Winter Games, the gold medal seemed to be in hand.
     
    With the Canadian net empty and the U.S. holding a 2-1 lead, American Kelli Stack was able to hit the puck down the length of the ice toward what appeared to be a goal that would seal the win. But it needed to be just centimeters to the right, and struck the left post.  Thirty seconds later, Canada netted the tying goal.
     
    Canadian defenseman (defender) Lauriane Rougeau said she maintained confidence.

    "I knew we could come back. I was on the bench and screaming my head off. You have to have good body language to keep believing in your teammates and that's what happened," she said. "When the puck hit the post, I turned around and looked at [fellow-defender Meaghan] Mikkelson and told her 'this is a sign from God that we're supposed to win tonight,' and that's what happened. I'm just so glad that we did." 
     
    Thirty-one-year-old U.S. veteran Julie Chu, the first Asian-American on the U.S. team who competed in her fourth Olympics in Sochi, said even after losing the lead she and her teammates believed they could win. 
     
    "Even though they started to get a momentum shift at the end, when we came out in OT [overtime], I'm proud of how we came out," she said. "We came out flying and there was a lot of pressure, a lot of pucks [shot] on net. Maybe in that first minute we thought we were going to score. And so we never lost the belief that we could win a gold medal."
     
    Chu learned later Friday that she was voted by fellow members of the entire Team USA to be the flag bearer for her country at Sunday's Closing Ceremony. 



    • Victor An of Russia reacts as he crosses the finish line ahead of Wu Dajing of China and Charle Cournoyer of Canada in the men's 500m short track speedskating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • Canada forward Benn Jamie, right, shoots and scores against USA goaltender Jonathan Quick during the second period of a men's semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • Women's gold medalist, United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, leaves the podium after the flower ceremony for the women's slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • The team from the United States USA-1, piloted by Steven Holcomb, take a curve during the men's four-man bobsled training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • Austria's Katrin Ofner takes a jump during a women's ski cross seeding run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • France's Ophelie David, Canada's Kelsey Serwa, Canada's Marielle Thompson and Sweden's Anna Holmlund (L-R) compete during the women's freestyle skiing skicross semi-finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • Sweden's second Fredrik Lindberg is congratulated as skip Niklas Edin stands after winning their men's bronze medal curling game against China at the Ice Cube Curling Center, Feb. 21, 2014.
    • Laura Fortino of Canada (8) gets an elbow in her mask from Jocelyne Lamoureux of the United States (17) during the third period of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
    • Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
    • Li Zijun of China competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
    • Team Canada players pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony after Canada defeated Team USA in overtime in the women's ice hockey final game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.

    U.S. team captain Meghan Duggan said it is difficult to have to settle for the silver medal.

    "Obviously we're competitors and, you know, to come up a bit short it doesn't feel good. We said early, you know, that we didn't train as hard as we could for second place," she added. 

    U.S. coach Katey Stone said the Americans have had an outpouring of support after the team's loss, including, as they found out, from President Barack Obama.
     
    "We have tons of family that's taken this journey with us over to Sochi and throughout the entire season, and so we have a great, soft place to land. There's no question about that," she said. "On another level, I understand that the president was trying to call this morning, which I think, I know how much of a sports fan he is. We haven't had a chance to talk yet, but appreciate that effort."
     
    Veteran star forward Haley Wickenheiser, 35, has played for Canada's team in every Olympics when women's ice hockey has been contested, winning a silver medal in 1998 in Nagano, and now four gold medals since then. She said this was something special.
     
    "Obviously we're pretty excited where we ended up and very happy to be in this position and have a gold medal around our neck," she said. "I think that for anybody that watched the game, it was a game for the ages the way it finished up and turned in our favor."
     
    U.S. coach Katey Stone said even though Canada and the U.S. have dominated women's ice hockey on the international level, the gap between them and other countries is shrinking, and that trend will continue.
      
    "The last Olympics and the previous one, everybody spoke about the goal differential and how embarrassing it was. It's not that way. If you talk to any of our players, and I imagine team Canada, they knew that they couldn't take anyone for granted," she said. "That mindset right there is already a change, that there are no holidays [easy games] in women's hockey, specifically at the international level."
     
    In the bronze medal game, also played Thursday, Switzerland, edged Sweden, 4-3.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Daystar from: USA
    February 22, 2014 1:17 PM
    Was God Rooting For Canada?

    Who, what, when, how, was it a ghost?
    America’s gold medal had just hit the post!

    56 minutes of owning the puck,
    Stolen in 4 of Canadian luck.
    The result of this match cut deep to our soul,
    The new four letter word was now spelled GOAL.

    You played dominating hockey all game long,
    But were unable to sing the victory song.
    Was God rooting for the Maple Leaf?
    Did He want Stars and Stripes to have more grief?

    Mercy and grace. Time and space.
    Win or Lose. Is there any disgrace?
    The truth of the matter, when all’s said and done;
    Was HOW it was played and not who won.

    Canada girls may wear gold on their chest,
    But the U.S. women hold gold where it’s best.
    Pouring it all out right from the start,
    Losing is winning, when with a whole heart.

    Don’t let defeat define your glory.
    You are already winner’s, let that be your story.
    Thank you for making the ice look so nice,
    And making a good game great, at any price.

    -A fellow American

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora