One win away: Team Canada heads to Olympic gold medal hockey game

She’s too professional to think so, but it was almost as if Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin was staring three days ahead

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BEIJING — She’s too professional to think so, but it almost felt like Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin was three days ahead.


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Perhaps a bit lost in this talent-laden Team Canada roster, Poulin had her defining match of the 2022 Olympics, scoring twice in Canada’s 10-3 loss to Switzerland in Monday’s semi-finals. .

We all know what that means: Canada earned a spot in Thursday’s gold medal game and another showdown against the United States, who beat Finland in the other semifinal on Monday.

Poulin, of course, is the emotional leader and stable force of this sensational Canadian team, but she’s also a goal scorer. Her five goals at the Olympic Games for the gold medal are testament to the impact she has when it matters most.

His two semi-final goals were proof of that talent – ​​a high ball into the slot that exploded into the top corner behind Swiss keeper Sasia Masker. The second, a quick deke backhand that landed in a similar spot.


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“We worked for those moments. We’ve been working for four years,” Poulin said, declining to mention USA by name because by then they hadn’t finished their semifinal game to earn their place in the final. “I think we deserve it and we’ll go from there.

“The work is not done. We’re just moving forward from there. We have been preparing for this for a long time. »

Poulin has plenty of company on offense with this team, a group that hasn’t stopped since opening the tournament in which they are now a perfect 6-0 record.

Team Canada's Sarah Fillier #10 and Team Switzerland's Noemi Ryhner #24 skate for the puck in the third period during the women's ice hockey playoff semifinal between Team Canada and Team Switzerland.
Team Canada’s Sarah Fillier #10 and Team Switzerland’s Noemi Ryhner #24 skate for the puck in the third period during the women’s ice hockey playoff semifinal between Team Canada and Team Switzerland. Photo by Harry Comment /Getty Images

The 54 goals they scored broke the previous record of 44, also held by Canada and in four of their six games here they hit double digits.

“I’m proud of this group,” said forward Sarah Nurse, who had four assists, led the team with 16 points and was their usual offensive force. “We faced a lot of adversity this year.


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“I know when you look at the Olympic results you kind of think it’s been an easy road for us, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

“We want to generate a ton of offense.”

Although the Swiss scored three goals, they weren’t quite enough to stop the Canadian shooters and his creative output. During a torrid first-period streak, they scored five times in 3:24, the fastest five-goal streak in Olympic history.

“They are playing unbelievably,” said Swiss coach Colin Muller. “I must say that the Canadian team is strong. As if you were asking me, who is their best player, I don’t even know.

Canada's players celebrate their seventh goal in the women's semi-final of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games playoffs.
Canada’s players celebrate their seventh goal in the women’s semi-final of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games playoffs. Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE /AFP/Getty Images

“They’re so tenacious on the puck and chasing the puck.”

Brianne Jenner now shares the Games scoring record with former Canadian star Meghan Agosta after scoring late in the third period which was her ninth goal of the tournament. Claire Thompson had a goal and two assists, the pair of assists giving her 10 in the tournament, the most in history for a defenseman.


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Barring a defensive save in the final, many other Canadian players are on the verge of tying or setting Olympic records.

  1. Canada's players celebrate after teammate Sarah Fillier (outside frame) scored the team's second goal against Sweden in their women's play-off quarter-final match of the Olympic Games ice hockey competition Beijing 2022 winter, at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing on February 11, 2022.

    Too fast, too skilful: Canada’s women’s hockey team thrashes Sweden in Olympic quarter-finals

  2. Sarah Nurse #20 of Team Canada is congratulated by Erin Ambrose #23 and Jocelyne Larocque #3 after scoring a goal against Team Finland.

    Of course, Team Canada dominates Olympic women’s hockey. Here’s why you should keep watching

With four assists on Monday, Nurse now has 12, tying the Olympic record held by Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser. Nurse also leads the tournament in scoring with 16 points in six games.

Coach Troy Ryan will now have two days off to prepare his team for the gold medal game which was always planned to be a showdown with the Americans, who Canada overthrew 4-2 as a group.

This final will be a rematch of the classic Pyeongchang gold medalist four years ago, a crushing shootout loss to the United States.


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The last semi-final win was the biggest margin of victory for the Canadians in the penultimate game. At the Turin Games in 2006, the Canadians beat Finland 6-0.

“It’s just a great feeling to get back into this gold medal game,” said defender Renata Fast, who made her Olympic debut in 2018. “It was our ultimate goal to get into this game. , obviously, and I think we’re going with a lot of confidence.

There is certainly unfinished business, after the crushing loss four years ago. And as focused as the Canadians were on the task at hand, the inevitable hung over their heads – from the day in late July when they arrived in Calgary for their centralization camp to the sound of the final bell here.

“It’s hard not to think too far ahead, so today was a big step for us,” said forward Rebecca Johnston, who, like Poulin, is heading for a fourth gold medal game. .

“Every game is a stepping stone in the right direction, hopefully we get better, we get better with every game to be ready for this final. The gold medal is definitely on our mind.



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Catherine J. Martinez