Canada has won its fifth Olympic gold medal in women's hockey with a whole lot of help from its captain and its goalie.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice, including the winner, in a 3-2 victory over the United States in Beijing. It's her third golden goal and she's the only woman in history to score in four consecutive Olympic finals. It is any wonder her nickname is Captain Clutch?
Ann-Renée Desbiens was outstanding in goal, blocking 38 of 40 shots. Earlier in the tournament, she made 51 saves in a 4-2 victory over Team USA.
In the final, Sarah Nurse opened the scoring for Canada by deflecting Claire Thompson's shot from the point off a post and into the net.
After Poulin scored in each of the first two periods, Canada was up 3-0. Late in the second period, the Canadians were poised to put the game away when American Megan Keller was penalized for holding.
However, the United States came roaring back when Hilary Knight flew down the left wing with the puck. She took a shot and then, as she crossed in front of the net, she put the rebound behind Desbiens, notching a shorthanded goal.
The Americans kept the pressure on in the third period. Late in the third period, Poulin was penalized for tripping. With the U.S. goalie pulled, it was a six-on-four skating advantage for the Americans before Amanda Kessel finally poked the puck into the net with just 12.5 seconds left on the clock.
But in the ensuing face-off, Poulin fired the puck down the ice and there simply wasn't enough time left for the Americans to mount any serious pressure.
Nurse set an Olympic women's hockey record by registering 18 points in the tournament, including five goals. Poulin had six goals and 11 assists. Three-time Olympian Brianne Jenner's nine goals were the most on the team. Olympic rookie Sarah Fillier scored eight times.
Canada has captured 20 medals at the Beijing Olympics—four golds, five silvers, and 11 bronzes. Only Norway, the Russian Olympic Committee, Germany, and the United States have collected more.