Aedan Juvet Staff Writer@AedanJuvet In an extremely close match, the women’s hockey team of Canada managed to pull off a gold medal against the United States. There were just slightly over three minutes left within the game, and Team USA’s hopes for receiving the gold were crushed in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadian team. A distraught Kelli Stack, a forward on the team, expressed her feelings over the game: "We were just so focused on doing our job and not letting what happened happen, and I don't know how it happened. I'm shocked." Coming within inches of victory by 1:25 left on the clock, Stack attempted to score, but it hit the post on the empty net. "When I first let it go, I thought it had a chance," Stack explained. "But when it crossed the blue line, I thought it was going to hit the post." U.S. forward Alex Carpenter claimed, "We kind of let down defensively a little bit, we let in two soft goals. It is so hard to explain." Canada is definitely proving they aren’t going to give up, winning the medals for women’s hockey in 2002, 2006, 2010 and now 2014 in Sochi. "Leading up to the game, we talked a lot about how we felt this team was different," Stack said. "We were more prepared and focused. We thought a lot about that 1998." Even with their confidence and preparation, though, the U.S. found themselves accepting the silver. Canadian defender Catherine Ward said, “You just need a little play and momentum of the game gets so switched around, with that one goal we got, they were on their heels and we just kept pressuring." Americans are close to getting that extra boost they need for victory; for example Americans have won four out of the five previous world championships, but perhaps something about the Olympics throws them off of their peaked capabilities. If Team USA can pull off one victory, it will spark a newfound belief in their matches against Canada. U.S. winger Hilary Knight explains, "When you let other factors come in, it can bounce either way, it’s heartbreaking. You go four years and you think you have the game in the bag, but something happens. It's unfortunate. But this group has represented our country at an outstanding level. So I can't be too heartbroken about it." The final moments of the game were so intense you could practically feel the thickness of nerves around the world. Going into overtime, which is played 4-on-4, the Americans had an opportunity to score, but Canadian goalie Shannon Szbados was quick to intercept the puck. Jocelyne Lamoureux attempted to knock the puck loose, which resulted in a two minute slashing penalty. Bringing the game to a 3-on-3, U.S. forward Hilary Knight caught a Canadian player from behind and went down, resulting in another penalty for Knight as Poulin then scored. Knight said, "I didn't touch her, she fell. It was a bogus call. But it didn't (come down) to one call. We had plenty of opportunity to put the puck in the back of the net." U.S. captain Meghan Duggan scored once in the second period and Alex Carpenter scored a second one in the third period, giving USA a 2-0 lead that unfortunately didn’t get them a victory. "It was awesome to get a two-goal lead, but I always cringe at a two-goal lead because for some reason we always let them come back," Stack admitted of the Canadian team. There is no doubt that the U.S. will have their sweet Olympic victory eventually, just not this time. Still, the women should be extremely proud of their achievements, because receiving a silver medal is nothing to look down on and is still a tremendous win. Just not the medal they had hoped for.
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