The defending gold medal U.S. women's hockey team had to settle for silver at the Beijing Olympics after losing to archrival Canada in the finals on Thursday. The Canadian women's hockey team took an early 3-0 lead over Team USA, and despite a late scoring drive by the Americans, Canada hung on to win 3-2.
Canada dominated throughout the Games, winning all seven matches, including an earlier 4-2 win over the U.S. in group play last week. Canada also beat the U.S. 3-2 in last year's women's hockey world championship game. The Canadian women's team has now won gold in five of the seven Olympics since women's hockey became an Olympic sport in 1998. The U.S. women's team has won two golds and four silvers, all of their losses to Canada.
In Thursday's game, Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin — nicknamed Captain Clutch — scored two of Canada's three goals, and Sarah Nurse score the third. Nurse scored 18 points during the Games, a single-tournament record. Canadian goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped 38 shots. The U.S. goals were from Hilary Knight and, with 14 seconds left in the game, Amanda Kessel. U.S. goalie Alex Cavallini stopped 18 shots.
This is Canada's fourth gold medal at the Beijing Games and Team USA's eighth silver. The U.S., with eight golds and 20 total medals, is currently No. 3 in the rankings, while Canada, with 19 medals, is No. 11.