Okay, you busted me. I stayed up late last night/this morning to watch women’s ice hockey. I’m not ashamed of it either. It wasn’t just any hockey game, it was the Winter Olympics Gold Medal game between the United States and Canada. What an awesome finish. It was just a great hockey game – period.
This USA-Canada rivalry in women’s ice hockey is pretty intense. After winning the past four gold medals, the U.S. women defeated Canada 3-2 in an overtime shootout to end a 20-year Gold Medal drought. This epic game was on the 38th anniversary of the greatest game in U.S. men’s hockey at the “Miracle on Ice” over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics.
After the Americans took the lead in the shootout with Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s goal, USA goalie, Maddie Rooney, stopped Canada’s Meghan Agosta to seal the win.
I fell asleep watching the game early on and when I saw it was 2-1 in favor of Canada during the second intermission, I decided it was time to go to bed. I couldn’t sleep so I went back to watching the game and I am glad I did. The USA tied the game late and sent it into overtime. The US dominated the 20-minute sudden death overtime period and nearly ended it several times. They had to kill off a penalty in the final two minutes to get to the shootout.
I did not see the medals ceremony. This morning, I saw the report of how Canada’s Jocelyne Larocque immediately removed her silver medal. Now she’s getting a lot of flak over that move – as well she should.
While watching the incredible quality of play by both teams in the game, I wondered about if this would impact the women’s game. There is a women’s professional league with four teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) but the league is barely surviving. I think it would be a good step for the National Hockey League (NHL) to bring support for women’s professional hockey. In my mind, I would like to see each NHL franchise also have a women’s team. They could play each team in the division four times which would give them a 24-28 games. I think limiting the schedule to within the division would save on travel costs and help the women’s teams to get off to a good start. The women’s teams could even play in a doubleheader with their male counterparts on specific nights. The top four teams in each division would make the playoffs and would play each other in a single-game elimination. (No need for the drawn out seven game series). I really think there should be a NHL-W. This would be a good time for it.
The women’s game is different but just as entertaining as the NHL. There is still body contact so it’s still a physical game; however, body checking is not allowed. I also like it that they have a full-face guard. It probably saves on a lot of dental issues. I’m not sure why the NHL doesn’t do this.
2018 Winter Olympics – USA Results:
- Feb 11 – beat Finland 3-1
- Feb 13 – beat Olympic Athletes from Russia 5-0
- Feb 15 – lost to Canada 2-1
- Feb 19 – beat Finland 5-0 in semifinals
- Feb 22 – beat Canada 3-2 (so) in Gold Medal game
Other facts about the USA Women’s Ice Hockey team:
- The team was 7-5 leading up to the Winter Olympic games
- The USA snapped a five-game losing streak to Canada
- Amanda Kessel is the sister of Phil Kessel of the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Robb Stauber is the coach for Team USA. He played goalie five seasons in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres.
- The USA won the first Gold Medal in women’s ice hockey in 1998.
- The USA team has won two gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
- Nine players on the 2018 roster play in the NWHL
- Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando are twins – the only sole set of twins for the USA in the Winter Olympics.