Thursday, 25 February 2010

Three Straight

If there was any team that Canadians should embrace as true champions, the Canadian women's national team is it. Three gold medals in the last three Winter Olympiads, and a whole host of other awards that should make Canadians proud.

You know is proud of the Canadian women? Me. I am.

It needs to be said, though, that the American women played a very good game as well. In fact, the Americans played well enough to win over the last 40 minutes of the gold medal game. Jessie Vetter was strong in net, they had good scoring chances, and their defence bent, but didn't break. If anyone earned a medal outside of Canada, the Americans deserve their medal as much as the Canadians deserve gold. The American women have nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of. Sure, they can be disappointed, but they played extremely well throughout the tournament.

And the Finns? They showed why they are making strides as a nation in women's hockey. It took an extra period of play, but the Finnish women knocked off their Swedish rivals by a 3-2 score in overtime this afternoon. Noora Raty proved that she is a world-class goaltender, and the Finnish women showed enough moxie to earn their second bronze medal since 1998. In 2002 and 2006, they ended in fourth-place, so this medal has to be sweet. It's probably even sweeter for Karoliina Rantamaki, who scored the overtime game-winner, as she and defenceman Emma Laksonen are the only members of the Finnish team to win two medals. Congratulations to Finland on their bronze medal performance!

And how about those Canadian gals? Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford, Becky Kellar, and Hayley Wickenheiser have all won three Olympic gold medals to go along with their 1998 silver medal. Kim St-Pierre, Colleen Sostorics, Cherie Piper, and Caroline Ouellette have all won the last three Olympic gold medals.

And what about the youngsters? Meghan Agosta led all Canadian scorers with nine goals and 15 points in the five games Canada played, and captured her second Olympic gold medal. Marie-Philip Poulin scored both goals in the 2-0 gold medal victory, and had five goals and seven points in the tournament. Shannon Szabados recorded the shutout tonight, and helped Canada earn their third-straight gold medal with her 28-save performance.

Canada is a balanced team, and they certainly showed everyone why they shouldn't be underestimated in any game. They got goals from veterans and youngsters, their defence corps communicates well and plays very well in their own zone, and they have at least three goaltenders who could start on any international team. This deep, talented team deserved their gold medal after putting in two weeks of hard work, and months of dedication to their Olympic dreams.

Congratulations to the Canadian women's hockey team for their phenomenal efforts in Vancouver in winning the 2010 Olympic gold medal!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Sage Confucius said...

I applaud the Canadians for their victory. The outplayed the USA. I thought it was a very nice touch by the fans, who were obviously mostly Canadian, to chant USA while the US team was receiving their medals. Very classy.
Congratulations to the Canadian team! said...

Canada’s women’s hockey team had an excellent tournament overall, but the way in which they celebrated their gold medal win over the United States last night was classless and trashy!

Teebz said...

Classless and trashy?

Care to elaborate?

Tom said...

What happened after the arena was vacated and no longer open to the public last night is really no one's business.

Besides, if you look in the background of some of the 'incriminating' photos, the mounties are present and don't seem to mind the celebration at all.

I'm not sure I would want to still be in my stinky, sweaty hockey equipment 2 hours after the game though...

Congrats Canadian Women - at least we can always rely on you for the gold!