Article written by Ryan Hale - Community Contributor
Canada Wins Yet Again
As I said in my game preview yesterday. We knew that this match up between what are easily the two best women's teams in the world, would be a battle. This iteration of the rivalry would not disappoint. We can all hope that we will be treated to yet another for the gold medal later in this Olympic games.
The first period was a lot of each team getting their legs underneath them and feeling each other out. There were a lot of turnovers by the United States team which lead to some great chances for Canada to jump out to a lead. Canada was awarded two power plays and the United States one however neither could really get anything going. The US squad ended up out shooting Canada but it would be hard to say that Canada didn't control the period as they definitely had the better chances. The USA goalie, Vetter, was definitely the only thing keeping this game scoreless after the first.
Coming into the second you could tell that the teams really were starting to get a feel for how each other was playing. They went back and forth in a ping-pong esque style and neither team could break through. At one point Canada was awarded a power play where the United States were able to create a breakaway. Hilary Knight had a great chance only to be stonewalled by Canadian tender Labonte. Towards the end of the period you started to get the feeling that the first goal may not come until the 3rd and it may be the game winner.
Late in the second the US was awarded a power play. After some great tic-tac-toe like passing a shot from the point that would have been saved was redirected from Hilary Knight. It was a that lead to the USA leading Canada 1-0 at the end of the second period.
Heading into the third period it appeared as though the United States was going to be able to pick up their play and keep Canada from extending their Olympic winning streak to 18 games. Not long into the third however Canada showed they had other plans. While on a power play they executed some fine passing in front of the net and Meghan Agosta was able to bury it home There was no chance Vetter could have made the save and the game was tied 1-1.
Not too minutes later Canada could be seen really putting some pressure on the American's forcing them into mistakes. Controversy would erupt via twitter and other outlets as the puck went into the net after the whistle had been blown for Canada's second goal. Canada was driving the net and Vetter appeared to have the puck covered so the ref blew her whistle to stop the play. However, Vetter inadvertently had knocked the puck backwards into her own net. Although the whistle had been blown when they reviewed the play the refs stated that the whistle shouldn't have blown,
Canada continued to keep the pressure on the USA squad from this point on. It appeared as though they had finally gained the upper hand and were not going to be letting go of it. With just over five minutes left in the game Hilary Knight was circling the Canadian zone when she was squeezed off the puck by two Canadian players. The free puck allowed Meghan Acosta to be sprung on a breakaway. She was able to to put Canada up 3-1 late in the third.
The USA team would not give up and phone it in however. With just over two minutes left in the third period the pulled Vetter for an extra attacker to try and get a goal. That was exactly what they would get too. After a scrambling save by Labonte and a weak clearing attempt by the Canadian defense a by Anne Schleper found it's way into the net and made the score 3-2 with just over a minute left in the game.
The rest of the game consisted of more goalie pulling by the Americans and some really close calls. Canada was even called for "Too much woman" on the ice with about thirty seconds left which lead to an American 6-4 to try and tie the game. However, they were unable to force the tying score home and Canada was able to stretch their Olympic win streak.
There is no doubt that this game was intense and fun to watch. We can all only hope that they will meet again in the gold medal game so we can treated to another solid game of hockey.
Credit for the gifs go to CrzyCanucklehed
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