The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride for the U.S. women’s national hockey team, but on Thursday in Pyeongchang, the team deservedly walked away with the ultimate recompense – an Olympic gold medal.
Last Thursday, the USA women’s team defeated Canada, 3-2 in Gangneung, South Korea, in one can only be described as a nail-biting and emotional finale. The victory gave the United States its second gold medal in women’s ice hockey in Olympic history, and the first in 20 years. Let’s look back on the standout ice hockey players and key moments from this year’s Olympic Games.
Dani Cameransi’s unassisted goal
Two minutes into the semis, Gigi Marvin scored on an assist from team captain Meghan Duggan. However, it was Dani Cameransi who picked off a pass and fired an unassisted shot to give the Americans a 2-0 lead, setting a precedent for the rest of the tournament.
Cameransi made her debut for the US national women’s team at the 2014 4 Nations Cup in Kamloops, Canada. As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, she has also played in one International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship for which she won a gold medal, and two Four Nations Cups, for which she came 1st and 2nd.
The American hockey star was born in Plymouth, Minnesota, where she enjoyed going to the open ice at the Plymouth Ice Center with her dad, brother, and sister, before attending the University of Minnesota.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s slap shot
In the second period, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, according to stats from the new Omega timekeeping devices, scored two goals in six seconds against the Olympic Athletes from Russia. This move put the Americans up 3-0 by firing a slap shot into the net while the U.S. team held a 5-on-3 advantage on the ice.
Lamoureux-Davidson has also represented the U.S. at two previous Olympic Winter Games (2010 and 2014). She has also taken part in seven International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships, 10 Four Nations Cups, and one IIHF Twelve Nations Invitational Tournament Series. Jocelyn grew up in Born in Grand Forks, N.D, where she played hockey outside on the coulee with her four brothers. Her twin sister, Monique, is also a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team
Maddie Rooney wins gold
Kudos to Maddie Rooney, the 20-year old American goalie, who would have been just seven months old last time the team won a gold medal. Rooney put in an incredible performance throughout the game, then came up with the final shot, ending Canada’s reign and earning the team their second gold medal. In her Olympic bio, Rooney states that her sporting role model is team captain Meghan Duggan.
It’s fair to say that the USA women’s team has earned major victories both on and off the ice this year. Just weeks before the 2017 Women’s World Championships in Michigan, the women won their battle for fairer wages and reached a four-year deal with USA Hockey.
Described by Time Magazine as “the great American Olympic hope,” the American women now have another victory under their belts. Like their battle for equal pay, Thursday’s gold medal game was earned on the strength of execution, perseverance, and fearlessness. It felt like the perfect ending to what has been a tumultuous last year for the USA women’s team.