Women’s hockey brings home the gold

Michael Harms, Courier Staff

They got the gold, and now the game. Last night the country watched in awe as the women’s hockey team played its arch rivals Canada for the gold medal. This game made history and weight for USA, as they received the gold medal which was taken from them both in the 2014, and 2010 games as Canada got the gold in both.

In 2010, Canada took the gold after USA blew a late lead and lost in overtime. The tears froze on the Vancouver ice as they fell from USA hockey star Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, who cried while the silver medal was placed around her neck. For the second time, US hockey had come close, but failed to accomplish the task they desired most. This time they would not fail.

USA struck first as Hilary Knight scored late in the first period during the third power play of the game. The second period was led by Hayley Irwin, as she pushed the puck in next, early in the second off of a tip in from a fluttery shot by Blayre Turnbull. Tied at 1-1, Canada looked to its captain Marie-Philip Poulin who took the puck and put finesse on the wrist shot that made waves in the back of the net with six minutes in the second period. Third period was desperation time for U.S.A. The team did not let their emotions get the best of them, as they stayed cool, calm and collective setting up multiple chances to even this game up. Finally, with 13 minutes into the third period Lamoureux-Davidson took a breakaway to show the world one of the best goals in U.S.A. women’s hockey history tying up the game 2-2.

The rest of the third period had everyone on the edge of his or her seat, but no team capitalized on an opportunity and the teams went into overtime. For a moment this game felt like Deja vu. Just four years ago these same teams went into overtime for the same goal, which was to get the gold. However, this year, neither team was able to score in the overtime period and forced the game to move into a shootout.

The goalie for Canada: two-time gold medal winner Shannon Szabados, and for U.S.A. 20-year-old Maddie Rooney. American, Gigi Marvin lit up the arena scoring first in the shootout. Her Canadian counterpart, Meghan Agosta, evened it up. Canada took the lead with an amazing goal from Melodie Daoust, but Amanda Kessel responded right back, saving the game for the United States. Finally, a deke by Lamoureux and one more stop by Rooney sealed the gold around the necks of the women hockey team. After so much pain and loss, USA finally won gold.

This victory may be the best thing for these women, but it was not their first. In March of 2017 USA Women’s hockey team decided to boycott the world championships, which would ruin the highly anticipated event on home ice. USA hockey failed to create a different team that would not include the expected because no one agreed to join. USA women’s hockey stars had showcased to the entire world the imbalance of wage and compensation for their dedication to the sport and country. While the men’s team flew business class, stayed in high-class hotels, received insurance, and paid year-round close to over $100,000.

The women’s team was only paid for the months surrounding the Olympics. They all had to work multiple jobs just to continue their dreams as Olympic gold medalists. The boycott needed to happen to fix these injustices and it worked. Later in March, USA hockey created a contract closing the gap on wages that extend to all 365 days of the year, insurance for the players, and better accommodations while traveling on the road. This deal celebrates USA hockey players and women around the world fighting for equality.

As this country continues to battle for women’s rights and equality this is just one of many stories where women are fighting to be considered equal. This deal showcases the power of USA women’s hockey, and the gold medal is just a cherry on top of a true victory they wanted most.