The United States women’s hockey team faced off with—and lost to—their long-time rivals (and neighbors) the Canadians in a preliminary game on Wednesday, February 12 at the Shayba Arena. The final score was 3-2 in favor of Canada, to the dismay of the Americans but to the delight, of course, of the Canadian team.
One proud and positively beaming member of the team is Meghan Agosta, who turned 27 on the very day she scored two goals to show that her team deserved a spot in the semifinals. Agosta scored the first and the last goal for Canada in the third period. That last breakaway goal, made with less than six minutes left on the clock, locked their win even after Anne Schleper of the US scored a goal with 65 seconds left in the game.
The loss may come as a shock to fans of the US team, because the Americans had actually defeated Canada in four games—one after the other—during the pre-Olympic tour. Hilary Knight, who plays forward for the U.S., comments that they had penalties during the game that affected their play.
There’s a big possibility that the two teams will meet on the ice again, this time, for the gold. It’s nothing new, as the two nations always find themselves competing against each other for the top spot in women’s hockey. When the event debuted in the Winter Olympics in 1998, the U.S. beat Canada in the finals. In the two Winter Games that followed, Canada claimed victory, and the U.S. has yet to reclaim the gold.
This made Wednesday’s game all the more frustrating for the American team. Coach Katey Stone of the U.S. may have felt indifferent about her team’s performance, but it’s a lot different for the team members. Amanda Kessel, for one, was upset, saying that she was “not happy with tonight.” Kessel scored two goals for the team to seal their victory against Switzerland on February 10.
Hockey fans around the world are surely waiting for the final sequel to this match-up, but for now, it’s time for the two teams to face other foes for the semis.
Image via US Women's Hockey Team Facebook