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USA women beat Canada to end 20-year Olympic drought

USA women beat Canada to end 20-year Olympic drought

The United States won Olympic women’s ice hockey gold for the first time in 20 years today, edging four-time defending champion Canada 3-2 in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Pyeongchang Winter Games final.

The Americans snapped arch-rival Canada’s 24-match Olympic women’s hockey win streak to claim their first Olympic crown since the inaugural event in 1998 at Nagano.

US forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored the deciding shootout goal after five shots for each team ended deadlocked 2-2, then US goaltender Maddie Rooney denied Meghan Agosta’s attempted equaliser to give the Americans their long-sought gold.

The US team raced onto the ice in joyful celebration, complete with hugs and flag waving.

US women have struggled to seize gold on the game’s biggest stage despite winning seven of the past world championship finals over Canada.

American Hilary Knight opened the scoring, but Haley Irwin and Marie-Philip Poulin answered for Canada only for Monique Lamoureux-Morando’s third-period equaliser to set the stage for over-time.

Megan Keller was whistled for an illegal hit on Canada’s Poulin with 95 seconds to play in the extra 20-minute period, but Canada couldn’t net a winner on the power play as the game went to a shootout.

The tension mounted as Gigi Marvin scored for the Americans only to have Canada’s Agosta answer on the next shot.

Melodie Daoust put Canada ahead on the fourth round of shots but Amanda Kessel pulled the US level, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.

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