The past year has been a historic one for the United States women’s national hockey team, from their groundbreaking boycott for fair pay and equality in mid-2017, to their gold medal victory in the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships, to beating Canada on the biggest stage: the Olympics in Pyeongchang.
As a result, Getzville native Emily Pfalzer, who spent two seasons with the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts before leaving this season for Olympic centralization, will bring a gold medal home to Western New York.
Team USA defeated Canada 3-2 in a shootout early Thursday morning (EST) to capture their first gold medal in women’s hockey since 1998, the first year women’s hockey was a part of the Olympics.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson had the gold medal-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout on a beautiful goal with some nifty hand work. Lamoureux got Canadian netminder Shannon Szabados down and lifted the puck into the net for the game winner.
.@TeamUSA IS GOLDEN!— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018
The @usahockey women take down rival Canada for their first gold since 1998! #WinterOlympics #BestOfUS https://t.co/wS6s9ulmoA pic.twitter.com/o4gJr8g7sV
Hilary Knight, who has played for the CWHL’s Boston Blades and NWHL’s Boston Pride, opened the scoring on the power play with under 30 seconds to play in the first period.
Haley Irwin tied the game for Canada just two minutes into the second period. Canadian superstar Marie-Philip Poulin gave her team the lead less than five minutes later, and all of a sudden, the US found themselves fighting to get back in it.
Monique Lamoureux-Morando potted the equalizer with under seven minutes to play in regulation. Both of the Lamoureux sisters play for the Minnesota Whitecaps, a professional women’s hockey team in St. Paul.
The Americans found themselves down a player in the overtime period at one point, as Megan Keller was served a penalty for an illegal hit. They were able to kill off the penalty and force the shootout.
Gigi Marvin, Amanda Kessel and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored the US in the shootout. Marvin played for the NWHL’s Pride the last two seasons, while Kessel played for the Metropolitan Riveters last season.
Meghan Agosta and Melodie Daoust scored for Canada in the shootout. Team USA netminder Maddie Rooney had 29 saves in the win, while Szabados had 39 saves at the other end of the rink.
The U.S. Women’s Team joined @lindseyvonn and the @TODAYshow cast for a little celebratory dance earlier this morning after winning #gold! #TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/roshbo45Sp— USA Hockey (@usahockey) February 22, 2018
Pfalzer, a defender, played 28:06 in the gold medal game, including 6:30 in the overtime period. She finished the game with three shots on goal and a plus-1. The 24-year-old finishes the 2018 Olympics a plus-5 in five games played.
Meghan Duggan, who captained Team USA and formerly played for the Beauts, finished her time in Pyeongchang with two assists and a plus-1 in five game.
Switzerland’s Alina Muller finishes the Olympics leading all skaters in scoring, with an incredible seven goals and three assists for 10 points in just six games. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because her brother Mirco Mueller plays for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
(If you’re living under a rock, you may not be aware that Amanda Kessel’s brother, Phil, also plays in the NHL. Amanda has previously won silver in the Olympics at Sochi, gold twice at the World Championships and silver once, and won the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award.)
Want to catch more exciting women’s hockey? The Buffalo Beauts have completed the home portion of their 2017-18 NWHL regular season, but will hold an Isobel Cup Playoff game on Saturday, March 17 at 5:30 p.m. at HARBORCENTER. Tickets are $20 and available for purchase here.
Also, check out SB Nation’s women’s hockey site, The Ice Garden!
P.S. The Isobel Cup is named after the daughter of Lord Stanley, for whom the Stanley Cup is named. She’s known as one of the first female hockey players in Canada.