US, Canada again face off for women's hockey gold


The Americans, who last won gold at the 1998 Nagano Games when women's hockey made its Olympic debut, are coming off four-straight IIHF world championship wins against the hockey-crazed nation and a one-goal loss to Canada in qualifying play last week, in which the US outshot the Canadians almost 2-to-1.

On the ice, the US was less than a minute away from gold four years ago when Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game 1-1 with a goal with 55 seconds left and then scored again in overtime to give Canada the gold medal.

Reigning world champion United States blanked Finland 5-0 on Monday to reach the Pyeongchang Olympic women's hockey final, where long-time nemesis and four-time defending champion Canada could await. It remained tied until American Monique Lamoureux scored with 6:21 to play in the final period.

Knight gave the USA 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.

And Agosta was stopped by American rookie Maddie Rooney, and the Americans, finally, won their first Olympic gold medal since 1998, 3-2. The other is the US women's basketball team, which now has a streak of six consecutive golds.

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Six members of the current USA team were also in the 2010 and 2014 silver medal-winning squads, including captain Meghan Duggan.

The epic showdown was the fifth time in six Winter Games that the North American neighbours have squared off against one another. Not only did the Americans end the Canadians' stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rival coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss in the tournament a week ago.

The Americans were a bit unschooled early on in the semifinal. However, Canada was able to get two second period goals. This didn't get the Americans down however, they followed this up with some wonderful shifts from twins Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux.

"I think you often want to say that it comes down to who wants it more", Jenner said. She had 15 going into PyeongChang and notched two goals and two assists in five games.

After going 1-for-8 on the power play during the preliminary round, the US managed to convert a pair with the extra skater, the first coming at the tail end of a 5-on-3 situation as Kelly Pannek found Lamoureux-Davidson for a one-timer. Marvin started the scoring, and Lamoureux-Davidson and Knight both scored during a 5-on-3 34 seconds apart in the second period.

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After 20 minutes of scoreless four-on-four overtime, the gold-medal game went to extra shots.

Targeted defense: Four players - Meghan Agosta, Rebecca Johnston, Marie-Phillip Poulin and Melanie Daoust - have combined for 10 of Canada's 16 goals.

"It is everything for our country", American coach Robb Stauber said after the game.

Canada won the first eight World titles, the US eight of the next 10, including the past four.

Barring a miracle on ice for either Russian Federation or Finland in Monday's semifinals, Team Canada and Team USA are expected to further advance towards a rematch in the gold-medal game.

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