I’ve been writing how it would be impossible for this tournament to have the same dramatic ending as last year in Buffalo.
Boy was I wrong.
USA for the second straight year has taken home the gold in Overtime.
Natalie Snodgrass was this years hero as she buried a backhander less than 2 minutes into the first OT period.
Its hard to put in to words what we saw tonight at the sold out Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.
Team Canada made all the right adjustments after being heavily outplayed in a 4-1 loss to the US on Monday.
The Canadians played a smarter team game. They were able to keep the US to the outside for most of the game. They also made sure to get pucks deep in the American zone.
The biggest difference is that they were able to finish their chances. Jamie Bourbonnais put Canada on the board late in the first. And early in the second Daryl Watts extended the lead to 2-0.
The big turning point came when American Alex Woken stole a puck and head in on a half breakaway. She let it fly and it found the back of the net to get USA back to within 1.
The third period was back and forth with both teams trading chances.
As pressure from the Americans mounted, Natalie Snodgrass was able to put one past Canadian keeper Stephanie Neatby to tie the game at 2.
Then the stage was set.
1:47 into the overtime period, the US were able to get the puck to the net and big rebound came to Snodgrass and she made no mistake.
USA would be wearing the gold for a second straight year. By the same score. And also in Overtime.
Congrats to all the teams. Canada were not as strong as the United States this year but they made the adjustments and came so close to pulling off the gold medal victory. They should be commended for their effort. Also a congrats to Team Sweden who defeated Russia 2-1 earlier for the Bronze medal.
The city of St Catharines, Hockey Canada, and the IIHF put on another marvelous event. Hopefully we will see you all next year.
Lastly here is my All Tournament Team
G – Emma Soderberg (SWE)
F – Alina Muller (SUI)
F – Ashton Bell (CAN)
F – Fanuza Kadirova (RUS)
D – Cayla Barnes (USA)
D – Jessica Adolfsson (SWE)
MVP – Natalie Snodgrass (USA)