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Badgers in Beijing: Canada hangs on to beat USA in the gold medal game

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Sarah Nurse was incredible and Ann-Renee Desbiens stood tall in net for the Canadians on Wednesday night.

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 13
Former Badger Sarah Nurse had one of the best tournaments in Olympics history.
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

While the biggest surprise of the game may have been the fact that I stayed awake for the entire thing, the most important takeaway from the game was that the Canadian women’s hockey team beat Team USA 3-2 late on Wednesday night/early Thursday morning to secure their fifth Olympic gold medal.

Standing tall in goal, and making a number of key saves during the American’s frantic push to equalize the score in the third period, Ann-Renee Desbiens made 38 saves on 40 shots.

Canadian Sarah Nurse opened the scoring with a goal in the first period and added an assist on the game-winning goal to break the women’s record for the most points recorded at a single Olympic tournament. She ended the tournament with 18 points and her 13 assists were also the most at a single Olympics in women’s hockey. Most importantly, she is the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in hockey. Despite being Canadian, she made Badgers proud everywhere.

For the Americans, Hilary Knight scored a shorthanded goal, in her Team USA record 22nd Olympic game, before the second period ended to cut the Canadian lead to 3-1 and give Team USA some hope heading into the final frame.

Team USA was buzzing the Canadian net for most of the third period, playing with a desperation that would have served them well in the first two stanzas, but weren’t able to notch a second goal until there were 13 seconds left in the game. Madison native, and former Golden Gopher, Amanda Kessel slammed home a rebound to make it a one goal game but it was too little, too late. Abby Roque recorded an assist on Kessel’s goal.

Canadian legend Marie-Philip Poulin scored their other two goals and her line with Nurse was dominant all game. Former Badger Alex Cavallini was in goal for Team USA and stopped 18 of 21 shots on the game.

Nurse, Desbiens, Kristen Campbell, Blayre Turnbull and Emily Clark all earned gold with Team Canada while Cavallini, Knight, Roque, Brianna Decker (who was injured earlier in the tournament and missed both games against Canada) and incoming freshman Caroline Harvey got silver.