USA vs. Canada hockey gold medal game: highlights and analysis from Canada’s 3-2 win

USA vs Canada in the women's hockey gold medal game at the 2022 Winter Olympics; Hannah Brandt's shot hits the post in the first period
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For the sixth time in Olympic history, the women’s hockey gold medal game at the 2022 Winter Olympics featured the United States and Canada. The two teams have combined to win every world and Olympic title in women’s hockey history. And that streak didn’t end in Beijing.

Canada won the gold medal game 3-2, despite a late effort from the United States. Canada’s “Captain Clutch” Marie-Philip Poulin scored two goals (including the game-winner).

WOMEN’S HOCKEY UPDATE: USA-Canada ‘Rivalry Rematch’ highlights historic underinvestment, and future potential, of women’s hockey

During the gold medal game, On Her Turf provided live updates. Here’s how the latest chapter of the USA vs. Canada rivalry unfolded:

Women’s Hockey – Olympic Gold Medal Game – Live Updates and Score:

FIRST PERIOD:

11:05pm ET: It’s time! The U.S. and Canada have stepped on the ice at Wukesong Sports Center. Fun fact: During the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the venue hosted basketball.

11:09pm ET: Another fun fact: all four officials for this game are women: referees Kelley Cooke and Anna Wiegand, and lineswomen Anna Hammar and Kendall Hanley.

11:12pm ET: In goal for Canada is Ann-Renee Desbiens. Four years after sitting on the bench during the 2018 gold medal final, she has been so solid in this tournament.

11:13pm ET: American Hannah Brandt with a fantastic opportunity, but it bounces off the post.

Video of Hannah Brandt’s near goal in the women’s hockey gold medal game:

11:19pm ET: Canada goes up 1-0. If you leave Natalie Spooner open in front of the net, that’s what’s going to happen….

11:20pm ET: But wait! U.S. coach Joel Johnson challenges the goal, arguing that Canada was offside prior to the goal. And the challenge goes in favor of the United States. It’s a 0-0 game again.

11:23pm ET: CANADA SCORES. 1-0 game. That was a really nice goal. Sarah Nurse was in the perfect spot, tipping the puck in past U.S. goalie Alex Cavallini. Claire Thompson and Marie-Philip Poulin credited with the assist.

Video of Sarah Nurse’s goal to put Canada up 1-0 in the women’s Olympic gold medal game:

11:30pm ET: Canada entered the game with a much deeper bench than the United States. And 12 minutes into the first period, every Canadian player – except for back-up goalie Emerance Maschmeyer and defender Ella Shelton – has stepped on the ice. The same can’t be said for the U.S.: defenders Caroline Harvey and Jincy Dunne have played zero minutes in the last two games… and that trend appears likely to continue in the gold medal game. The Americans are also, of course, playing without Brianna Decker, who was injured in the first game of the tournament.

11:36pm ET: CANADA SCORES, 2-0 GAME. Would it be a gold medal game without a goal from Marie-Philip Poulin? She does a fantastic job of taking the puck away from Kelly Pannek as the U.S. was working it out of the zone. U.S. goalie Alex Cavallini looks like she was caught off guard, either by a screen in front or the quick turnaround.

Video of Marie-Philip Poulin’s goal to make it 2-0 for Canada:

11:45pm ET: First period ends with Canada leading the U.S. 2-0. The Americans finished the period by killing off a penalty by Kendall Coyne Schofield (delay of game).

SECOND PERIOD: 

12:00am ET: Looking through those first period stats… let’s talk about bench depth/roster utilization. At the end of the first period, only one Canadian player (Renata Fast) has spent more than eight minutes on the ice. The U.S. has four players with 9+ minutes time on ice (TOI).

12:10am ET: Wow. CANADA GOAL, 3-0. Marie-Philip Poulin again (video below). Get this: this is Poulin’s FOURTH STRAIGHT GOLD MEDAL game scoring at least one goal: two in 2010, two in 2014, one in 2018, two today…

12:22am ET: In some ways, Canada leading 3-0 was completely predictable… The Canadians blazed their way through the Olympic tournament, outscoring their opponents in Beijing by a combined 54-8 (ahead of today’s gold medal final). That said, despite the struggles the U.S. team has had in the tournament, it always felt possible that today’s game could be a 0-0 overtime battle given the storied rivalry between the two teams.

12:29am ET: HILARY KNIGHT SCORES (video below). 3-1 game. A short-handed goal, even, after Megan Keller took a holding penalty. Hannah Brandt with the assist.

12:35am ET: That’s the end of the second period. Canada currently leads the U.S. 3-1. If the result holds, Canada will win its fifth gold medal in women’s hockey. As we’ve seen in previous games at these 2022 Winter Olympics, the U.S. is getting shots, but not finishing, except for that master class from Knight. The Americans currently lead the Canadians 24-17 in shots on goal.

THIRD PERIOD: 

12:45am: Something to keep in mind as the third period gets underway. The team that was leading in the 2014 and 2018 gold medal game at the end of the second period? Not the team that ultimately won. The U.S. was leading 1-0 in 2014 (ultimately lost 3-2 in OT). Canada was leading 2-1 in 2018 (ultimately lost 3-2 GWS).

12:53am: CLINK! You can hear the sound as a shot from Alex Carpenter bounces off the post (video below).

1:04am ET: Team USA will go on the power play after Canada’s Jocelyne Larocque is called for hooking on Savannah Harmon.

1:05am ET: And the U.S. isn’t able to capitalize on the power play… again. Not a new storyline at these 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Ann-Renee Desbiens has to make just one save as Canada’s penalty kill holds strong.

1:14am ET: The U.S. is peppering shots on Desbiens but isn’t able to make a dent.

1:15am ET: With 3:08 remaining, the U.S. pulls goalie Alex Cavallini to add the extra player.

1:18am ET: U.S. will go back on the power play after Marie-Philip Poulin gets called for a penalty.

1:20am ET: !!!!!! AMANDA KESSEL SCORES. 2-3. 13.5 SECONDS REMAINING, AFTER OFFICIALS ADJUST THE CLOCK. WOW.

1:23am ET: And just like that, it’s over. Canada wins 3-2. Felt like the U.S. woke up too late, though they did record nearly twice as many shots on goal as Canada (41 to 20).

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 13
BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 17: Marie-Philip Poulin #29, Sarah Nurse #20, Renata Fast #14 and Ann-Renee Desbiens #35 of Team Canada celebrate after winning the women’s hockey gold medal game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

2:22am ET: There is gonna be a lot to unpack from this one, but it certainly lived up to the hype. While looking through the game stats / tournament stats, a couple things that stood out:

USA vs Canada Rivalry History – Olympic and World Championship History (Finals only)

Year Event Winner and Score
1990 World Championship Canada, 5-2
1992 World Championship Canada, 8-0
1994 World Championship Canada, 6-3
1997 World Championship Canada, 4-3 (OT)
1998 Nagano Winter Olympics USA, 3-1
1999 World Championship Canada, 3-1
2000 World Championship Canada, 3-2 (OT)
2001 World Championship Canada, 3-2
2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics Canada, 3-2
2003 World Championship Cancelled due to SARS
2004 World Championship Canada, 2-0
2005 World Championship USA, 1-0 (SO)
2006 Torino Winter Olympics Canada defeated Sweden, 4-1
2007 World Championship Canada, 5-1
2008 World Championship USA, 4-3
2009 World Championship USA, 4-1
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Canada, 2-0
2011 World Championship USA, 3-2 (OT)
2012 World Championship Canada, 5-4 (OT)
2013 World Championship USA, 3-2
2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Canada, 3-2 (OT)
2015 World Championship USA, 7-5
2016 World Championship USA, 1-0 (OT)
2017 World Championship USA, 3-2 (OT)
2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics USA, 3-2 (SO)
2019 World Championship United States defeated Finland, 2-1 (SO)
2020 World Championship Cancelled due to Covid-19
2021 World Championship Canada, 3-2 (OT)
2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Canada, 3-2

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Crystal Dunn returns to USWNT roster five months after giving birth

Nigeria v USWNT
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Crystal Dunn was named to the USWNT roster for two upcoming friendlies against England and Spain, marking her first official selection since giving birth to son Marcel in May.

Dunn made her NWSL return with the Portland Thorns earlier this month and also trained with the U.S. team as a non-rostered player ahead of friendlies vs. Nigeria.

In addition to Dunn, the 24-player roster features a veteran core of Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and Megan Rapinoe.

Alex Morgan was not named to the USWNT roster due to a knee injury. While U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski did not provide details of the injury, he noted that “if this was a World Cup final, Alex was going to be on this trip and was going to play, no question.”

Other roster highlights include 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson, who becomes the first player born in 2004 to receive a USWNT call-up. Thomas, a high senior, plays club soccer for the U-17 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team.

“We are very excited for her, very excited about her potential and qualities and looking forward to seeing how she will turn out in our environment,” Andonovski said of Thompson. “This camp is not make it or break it. It’s a first experience for her, it’s just something that she shouldn’t even worry about.”

The USWNT also includes a handful of players who have made their USWNT breakthrough this season — thanks in part to both strong NWSL play and injuries to more veteran players. That list includes the likes of Naomi Girma (7 caps), Taylor Kornieck (5 caps), Hailie Mace (5 caps), Sam Coffey (1 cap), and Savannah DeMelo (0 caps).

Andonovski on Thursday called Coffey, a midfielder for the Portland Thorns, a candidate for NWSL MVP.


USWNT Roster for October 2022 Friendlies vs. England and Spain

Goalkeepers (3):

  • Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit)
  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)
  • Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders(7):

  • Alana Cook (OL Reign)
  • Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Sofia Huerta (OL Reign)
  • Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current)
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders (8):

  • Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA)
  • Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign)
  • Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
  • Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit)
  • Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (6):

  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit)
  • Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars)
  • Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
  • Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”