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Poulin, Canada Beats Team USA in Thrilling Comeback Fashion

by Photo of Gil Santos

With two clutch goals, Marie Philip Poulin led Canada to their fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Poulin, Canada Beats Team USA in Thrilling Comeback Fashion

The U.S. Women's Hockey Team had a two-goal lead over Canada with less than 4 minutes left in the third and final period of the Olympic tournament. The gold was seemingly wrapped up, but a familiar face had other ideas. Marie-Philip Poulin, who was the hero in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, lifted Canada once again over the United States with her golden goal in overtime to complete the comeback and give them their fourth straight gold medal. 

In 2010, Poulin scored two goals for the Canadians against the U.S. and she did it again in today's game.  

The game was full of speed, skill, physicality, and most of all drama. The U.S. were just a post away from victory when a linesman inadvertently got in the way of Canada's Catherine Ward, which allowed Team USA to shoot it down the ice at the empty net, but it somehow hit the right post. 

[GIF via Deadspin]

When that happened, it never seemed it was meant to be for the U.S. women as Poulin tied the game up soon after to force it into overtime where she later ended it.

After a scoreless and physical first period, the U.S. women finally broke the ice when captain Meghan Duggan scored the opening goal to give them a 1-0 lead. Canada's Ward turned it over in the neutral zone while trying to it get it up the ice. Joceyln Lamoureux tried to go through a couple of defenders, but the puck was knocked off her stick. Luckily, Duggan was able to collect it and she wrist shot it past Szabdos high glove side from the left circle. 

In the final period, the Americans gave themselves more a cushion when they finally capitalized on their fourth power play of the night. Knight found Alex Carpenter backdoor and she shot it into the net from the right crease for a 2-0 lead. 

But it went all downhill from there as the Americans played more defensively to try and protect the lead. The Canadians finally burned them when Brianne Jenner scored from a deflection off of U.S.'s Kacey Bellamy that beat goaltender Jessie Vetter to cut the lead in half. With an extra skater, Poulin would later tie it with only 54.6 seconds left to play. On the goal, Rebecca Johnston shot the puck from below the goal line which Vettter could not handle, and the rebound went to Poulin's stick in the slot where she easily buried it. 

They had marvelous chances to end the game in the extra period, but could not beat Canada's netminder Shannon Szabados. In addition, the Americans received a huge power play after a Ward cross check, but bad luck hit them again when Lamoureux was called for a horrendous slashing the goaltender penalty just a few seconds into the man advantage. 

Canada was able to draw a penalty of their own after Anne Schleper could not handle a pass from Hilary Knight in the offensive zone, which sprung veteran Hayley Wickenheiser on a breakaway. Knight was able to catch up to her but took her down to give Canada the power play.

The Canadians capitalized as they used quick passes to open up a shot for Poulin, who put it into the back of the net and crushed the U.S.'s gold medal dreams.

Team USA settles for silver in the second straight Olympics and the loss will be tough pill to swallow for all the American players. It leaves a depressingly bitter taste in their mouths as the game will forever be remembered for the gold medal that slipped away from their finger tips.

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