Saturday, April 12, 2008

USA claims Gold in Women's hockey

Once again in women's hockey the sports two main rivals took to the ice to settle a championship game, but this years final would feature a different result than in the recent past, with the American squad coming out the top squad this time around based on the strength of a 4-3 victory over Canada.

The sport still still in its growth period on the world stage held its world championship in Harbin, China this year, with Canada defending its three year run as World champion.

The US squad had a commanding if controversial lead heading into the third period, with two of the Americans four goals reviewed extensively by the video judges, who ruled in favour of the American squad.

The Canadians made a comeback attempt in the third with two quick goals by the mid way period, but ended up just a bit short, as the USA's Jessie Vetter shut the door for the Americans in the final period.

The American victory was only the fourth time that a US team has defeated the Canadian women's squad in international play. Of the ten World Championships held Canada had previously won nine, however trouble was on the horizon early on in this tournament as the USA had defeated Team Canada in the final game of the round robin tournament.

Whatever weakness they had found in the Canadian game plan, they put it to use once again for their chance to claim gold in China.

The tournament was a trailblazing expedition for women's hockey, arriving in a country that doesn't know much about the game and struggled at times to provide the necessities for the visiting players.

The championships went along with little fanfare, perhaps lost in the overwhelming attention to the upcoming Olympics, the 2008 tournament was a replacement tournament to the one originally scheduled for 2003, that competition was cancelled due to the SARS crisis of the time.

Which made travel to China an unadvised adventure. Five years later, the Canadians travel plans were fine, it was the game plan that seemed to have some shortcomings.


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