Canada reclaims golden crown, U.S. win silver in women's hockey
Once the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Canadians celebrated, throwing their gloves in the air and mobbing each other in a scene of utter joy.
BEIJING, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Canada beat the United States 3-2 to win the women's ice hockey final at the Beijing Olympics on Thursday, reclaiming the gold medal the Americans had taken from them four years ago in Pyeongchang.
Captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored the game-winning goal, a rebound in the second period, as an outgunned U.S. team recorded 40 shots on goal to Canada’s 21 across the entire affair but were unable to convert where it counted.
Forward Hannah Brandt nearly got the U.S. on the board in the first three minutes with a wrist shot that ricocheted off the post and a would-be goal for Canada midway through the frame was called off after the U.S. challenged for offsides.
But Canadian sharpshooter Sarah Nurse got her team going shortly after and Poulin added to the advantage 15 minutes into the first period, stealing the puck and whipping it past American netminder Alex Cavallini.
She produced the game-winner midway through the second frame, with a rebound off Cavallini's pads.
Four-time Olympian Hilary Knight retaliated, getting the Americans on the board with a shorthanded effort with less than four minutes to go in the frame.
Amanda Kessel converted on a power play with 13 seconds to go in the third after the U.S. pulled their goalie to bring the contest to a nail-biting conclusion.
Once the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Canadians celebrated, throwing their gloves in the air and mobbing each other in a scene of utter joy, having earned sweet redemption four years after the Americans ended their run of four straight golds in a devastating shootout loss.
Nurse made history with the most points and assists in a single women's Olympic tournament, while Poulin — who had already well-earned the nickname "Captain Clutch" before Thursday's effort — ended the day as Beijing's second scoring leader.
Finland defeated Switzerland 4-0 the previous day to take bronze.
The win on Thursday capped an utterly dominant tournament for the Canadians, who did not lose a single game and recorded an 11-0 shutout over Sweden in their quarter-final and 10-3 win against Switzerland in the semifinal.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Beijing; Additional reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jacqueline Wong)