The U.S. and Canadian women’s ice hockey teams squared off last night for the gold medal, and Canada won 2-0. In an extremely fast-paced game, the goalie made the difference. Canada had 29 shots on goal while the United States had 28. Both the Canadian goals were scored in the first period by 18-year-old Marie-Philip Poulin. Jessie Vetter was in goal for the United States, and Shannon Szabados played goal for Canada.
In the bronze medal game, Finland defeated Sweden 3-2. Karoliina Rantamaki scored the winning goal at 2:33 in the overtime period. Finland’s other two goals came in the second period (Heidi Pelttari, Michelle Karvinen). Maria Rooth scored for Sweden in the second, and Danijela Rundqvist scored their other goal in the third. Sweden made the decision to start Sara Grahn in goal rather than their regular starter, Kim Martin.
In an extremely emotional ceremony, the medals were awarded on the ice after the game. Finland received the bronze, USA the silver, and Canada the gold. Many of the United States players shed tears after b eing disappointed by their loss. But they should not be disappointed in their play. They played a full game, they never gave up, and they came with everything they had. Last night, silver may have been a let down for them at the time, but hopefully it is sinking in today that they have an Olympic silver medal – a great achievement.
During the ceremony the Finnish team was all smiles and sent kisses to their families. The presentation of the silver to the United States was initially subdued as a result of the displayed disappointment by the team members. In a great display of sportsmanship, before the presentation was complete, the fans including the Canadians began to chant "USA! USA!" Of course the house rocked with the presentation of the gold and the hometown fans singing a jubilant rendition of their anthem, "O Canada."
Unfortunately many comments are overshadowing a great medal round and ceremony by casting aspersions toward the Canadian team for their post-ceremony celebration. A few of the players went on the ice afterward smoking cigars and drinking beer and champagne. The International Olympic Committee is investigating the situation. The Canadians played hard, played well, and deserve time to celebrate. They may have lacked judgment in their celebration, but so what? They won the gold. They are hockey players. Let them celebrate like hockey players.