The U.S. women’s hockey team beat Canada 3-2 on their home ice in Ottawa Tuesday night to win their fifth IIHF world championship and add another (victorious) chapter to the growing border war.
“I feel like it’s revenge,” Amanda Kessel, who tied for the team points lead and scored the winner Tuesday, said. “We got beat on our home soil last year. To come into Canada and win the gold medal is unbelievable. We used our speed and worked hard. It gives us great confidence heading to Sochi.”
The American women are still down to their northern neighbors in the overall count of world championships and Olympic gold medals since they started officially keeping score in 1990, but have taken home five of the last seven and IIHF titles and are discovering how to win when it counts. The U.S. had lost 3-2 to Canada in a shootout during the preliminary round, but:
“What matters is how you finish the tournament,” Kessel added. “I think we played our best game tonight.”
Meanwhile, the Canadians can take pride in keeping the game close despite being out-shot 30-16.
“We needed to have more sense of urgency in front of their net earlier on,” Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser said. “We need to execute. There was no shortage of chances for us… but we didn’t execute.”
The U.S. women tore a “Hockey Is Ours” Nike advertisement off the boards to pose with it after avenging last year’s disappointing 5-4 overtime loss, which will likely spur some additional animosity between the nations when they face-off in the Olympics less than a year from now.
Then again, Canada and tournament MVP Marie-Philip Poulin used all their effort to blow out the Swiss 13-0 and Finland 8-0, so they get what they deserve. U-S-A! U-S-A!