Canadian forward Melodie Daoust (15) fights for position with United States defenceman Megan Keller (5) during the women’s ice hockey final between Canada and USA at PyeongChang 2018 at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 (Vincent Ethier/COC)

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

They fought it to the last but Team Canada gave up gold to the Americans in the women’s ice hockey final in Pyeongchang on Thursday.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout, giving Team USA a 3-2 win and their first gold medal in 20 years.

The Americans hadn’t won a women’s hockey gold since the sport’s inaugural Olympic run at Nagano in 1998.

In a sign of just how tightly the women’s Olympic journey had gripped the hockey-obsessed nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took only minutes to respond.

“You played amazing, it’s a terrible way to lose on the shootout,” said Trudeau in a Twitter video from six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser.

“We’re with you, we support you and we send you huge hugs.”

The U.S. picked up the first goal of the night with just 25 seconds to go in the first period as Hilary Knight shot it past Shannon Szabados on the American’s third power play of the game.

The Canadians didn’t wait long to equal the scoreboard with a goal just two minutes into the second period. Calgary’s Haley Irwin slid it past 20-year-old rookie Maddie Rooney after a pass from Blayre Turnbull.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin made it 2-1 for the Canadians on an assist from B.C.’s Meghan Agosta and Quebec’s Mélodie Daoust.

Agosta, a Vancouver police officer with three gold medals, has taken the past year off to train for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Monique Lamoureux-Morando upped the ante with a breakaway and made it a nailbiter as she tied it 2-2 for the American’s less than seven minutes into the third.

The game went to a scoreless four-on-four overtime despite 16 shots on goal and a power play for the Canadians.

The first round of the shootout kicked off with Rooney blocking the first Canadian attempt from Natalie Spooner, while Gigi Marvin made it 1-0 as she slipped it past Szabados.

Agosta evened it out in the second round but the third round was scoreless.

Mélodie Daoust and Amanda Kessel scored for the Canadians and Americans, respectively, in the fourth round but both Canada’s Brianne Jenner and the American Knight remained scoreless in the fifth.

Lamoureux-Davidson scored a sixth-round goal that Agosta couldn’t match as the American slipped the puck around the left side of Szabados’s stick to end the Canadians’ bid for a record-breaking five consecutive gold medals.

GAME NOTES: In some ways, it’s no wonder that the U.S. outshot and outscored the Canadians with seven power plays to the northerners’ two. It was a hard-fought game full of rookies, as 13 of the U.S. players had never seen Olympic play, although that didn’t stop them from playing their way to the top of the podium.

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