Northern New York Newspapers
Watertown Daily Times
The Journal
Daily Courier-Observer
NNY Ads
NNY Business
NNY Living
Malone Telegram
Mon., Jul. 14
ADVERTISE WITH US SUBSCRIBE
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
In print daily. Online always.
Related Stories

Once again, it’s USA vs. Canada for gold medal in women’s hockey

ARTICLE OPTIONS
A A
print this article
e-mail this article

SOCHI, Russia — Before departing for the Olympics, the U.S. women’s hockey team received a few visitors at their training facility in Bedford, Mass.

Members of Team USA’s 1998 gold medal team stopped by to share stories and words of encouragement.

“They just wanted to tell us that there’s something special about our team and that’s the way they felt in ’98,” forward Kelli Stack said. “We want to bring a gold medal back to the States because it’s been so long.”

Team USA remains a powerhouse in women’s international hockey, but the Americans haven’t won a gold medal since that debut Olympic tournament in Nagano in ‘98. Canada has won three consecutive gold medals since then, including a victory against the U.S. in Vancouver in 2010.

The disappointment of that defeat still lingers inside the 11 current members of the American squad that skated off the ice with a silver medal.

“That’s something that’s driven us the last four years and really motivated us,” forward Monique Lamoureux said. “That feeling of coming up short doesn’t fade over time. It really sticks with us.”

Team USA is determined to write a different script when it meets its archrival Canada in the gold medal game again tonight. The Canadians defeated the U.S. 3-2 in the preliminary round in these Games.

The Americans were frustrated with their performance in that game, saying they lacked their usual aggressiveness. They wanted this rematch to prove that they’re a better team than what they showed the first time.

“We’re just a fast, young, resilient, strong team,” forward Hilary Knight said. “We’ve got a lot of skill. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Everyone should be, too, because these two teams are heavyweights in women’s hockey. Their rivalry is heated (some say hated) and competitive. The teams respect but don’t necessarily like each other. Their games are fast and physical and occasionally angry. The teams had a pair of fights in pre-Olympic games.

“They’re at the top of their game, we’re at the top of ours,” Knight said. “It’s definitely a hot ticket.”

Team Canada holds bragging rights, though, until proven otherwise. The Americans are dominant in international hockey, but it’s been a long time since they could claim to be the best.

Most of the players were still kids learning the game the last time the U.S. brought home a gold medal. To the current and previous group of national players, Canada has remained a thorn in their side, the one and only team that they use as a measuring stick to judge themselves.

“You’ve got to believe that you can do for you to do it,” U.S. coach Katey Stone. “It’s just getting out there and getting hungry. This is not the time to sit back and wait and see what happens. You’ve got to go after it.”

This U.S. team it believes it has the right blend of talent, experience and chemistry to dethrone Canada. They defeated the Canadians four times in pre-Olympic games, but they must prove that they can do it under the pressure of a gold medal game.

“You wait four years or basically your whole life for this moment,” Stack said.

Connect with Us
WDT News FeedsWDT on FacebookWDT on TwitterWDT on InstagramWDT for iOS: iPad, iPhone, and iPod touchWDT for Android
Showcase of Homes
Showcase of Homes