GANGNEUNG, South Korea >> The call came Wednesday night as the U.S. women contemplated their day of reckoning.
Cammi Granato, the face of American women’s hockey, was on the line.
“Everything you need is in this room,” she told the players who had grown up idolizing her.
“There was just this feeling we all had that we’re going to figure out a way to get it done,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando.
Twenty years after Granato’s team stunned Canada in the first Olympic final for women’s hockey, the Americans finally duplicated the accomplishment Thursday in an emotionally wrought Shakespearean drama at Gangneung Ice Arena.
The Americans played the role of spoiler by ending Canada’s long Olympic reign in the most Shakespearean of ways: They won their first gold medal since 1998 with a pressure-pounding 3-2 shootout victory.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson — Monique’s twin — got the game-winner in the sixth round of the shootout that ended only when goalkeeper Maddie Rooney stopped Meghan Agosta, who had scored Canada’s first penalty minutes earlier.
It was fitting that Lamoureux-Davidson’s strong attack at goal proved the difference. Her sister had tied the score with 6:21 left in regulation to send it into overtime.
The shootout encapsulated all the pent-up emotions unfolding across the sheet of ice with the four-time Olympic champion playing the three-time runner-up.
“It was time,” Hannah Brandt said. “We needed to be on the other side of it. We wanted to do what they did” in 1998.
But Canada doesn’t acquiesce easily. It hadn’t lost an Olympic hockey game since the ‘98 final, an impressive 24-game streak that included a 2-1 victory over the Americans in the preliminary bout at the Pyeongchang Games.
But the U.S. players said afterward they never had doubts. They have defeated Canada in the past four World Championships and have a blend of young talent with veterans such as Hilary Knight, a three-time Olympian.
The players swore they knew Lamoureux-Davidson would score against goalkeeper Shannon Szabados.
Lamoureux-Davidson didn’t waver when coach Robb Stauber asked if she wanted the shot as the teams were tied 2-2 late in the shootout.
The forward knew exactly what she would do.
“The last penalty shot against Canada I looked like an idiot so I went back to this,” Lamoureux-Davidson said.
Lamoureux-Davidson learned it from Peter Elander, North Dakota’s associate head coach.
She had practiced it a thousand times over the past four years, shooting the puck at car tires.Advertisement
“Shannon is a great goalie and I knew I had to sell the shot,” the forward from North Dakota said. “I blacked out and don’t even know what she did when I took the shot.”
Lamoureux-Davidson’s goal didn’t clinch it. The Americans had to wait for Agosta’s attempt against Rooney, a 20-year-old Minnesota-Duluth student.
Her teammates pointed to her saying “one more.” The goalie couldn’t remember what happened next.
Forward Dani Cameranesi needed a bandage after a skate cut her right hand during the celebratory scrum.
“There has just been no doubt in our team,” the player said.
The last one four years ago stung the most for the current players. They held a 2-0 lead after two periods before giving up the tying score with a minute left in regulation.
It was no surprise the latest edition also went into overtime. The evenly matched teams wouldn’t budge throughout the 60-plus minute affair.
Knight, who lived in Woodside until age 5, scored on a power play with 25 seconds left in the first period to give the United States a 1-0 lead. She got a deflection on Sidney Morin’s strong shot after Sarah Nurse was called for interference. It was the Americans’ only power-play conversion out of four chances in regulation.
Haley Irwin tied the score two minutes into the second period off a pass from Blayne Turnbull to give the Canadians energy.
Then came Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored the tying and winning goals in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Her shot gave Canada a 2-1 lead.
The Americans who suffered that defeat in Sochi hadn’t let go of the bitterness. They had come to South Korea hoping to rewrite their endings.
The fortunes changed when Lamoureux-Morando scored on a breakaway in the third period to send the actors were on another angst-ridden ride.
The first overtime increased in intensity as Megan Keller was called for a two-minute penalty for an illegal hit with 1:35 left. But the Americans held on to lead to the shootout where Amanda Kessel also scored.
“I’ve done that so many times in life in my mind,” Marvin said of playing in an Olympic final. “We skate seven hours a day. It’s not a joke, we create these moments in our minds as 7-year-olds. It has been in me this whole time.
“We just got to live it out today.”
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