KESSEL = CLUTCH

posted by Mark Madden -

The United States women’s hockey team won gold last night at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. They beat Canada 3-2 via shootout.

It was a fantastic game. Only two women’s teams can play hockey at that rarefied level. It’s a shame they don’t play each other more often.

Next Winter Olympics, they should make the U.S. and Canada play best-of-7 for the gold medal. Everyone else plays for bronze.

The U.S. was down 2-1 in the five-player shootout when Amanda Kessel (Phil’s sister) scored on the Americans’ fourth attempt. That’s big-time clutch. It kept Canada from having double match point.

Then Jocelyne Lamoureux of the U.S. did a triple deke straight out of “The Mighty Ducks” to net an absolutely filthy goal. American goalie Maddie Rooney, just 20, made one more stop to cap off a brilliant game and the U.S. women were gold-plated.

Canada is whining – as Canada is wont to do on the rare occasions it loses in hockey – because the game went to a shootout instead of playing more OT.

But those are the rules, and everybody knew them: One 20-minute four-on-four overtime, then a shootout. You can’t play forever. It’s blasphemous to say, but I’d do the same in the NHL playoffs: One 20-minute OT, then a shootout.

The U.S. outskated, out-chanced and outplayed Canada in overtime. The Americans were extremely worthy winners.

Photo courtesy of GettyImages

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Mark Madden

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