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Canada Beats USA to Win Women's Olympic Hockey Gold

Canada's women's hockey team are Olympic champions for the fifth time after beating the United States 3-2 on Thursday in Beijing.
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Canada's women's hockey team are Olympic champions for the fifth time after beating the United States 3-2 on Thursday in Beijing.

The Canadians swept the two games against the United States, finishing the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record in Beijing. The win is Canada's first Olympic gold since 2014 in Sochi, with the Americans taking the title four years ago in South Korea.

Marie-Philip Poulin led the way for Canada with two goals, making her the only Canadian player, regardless of gender, to score in four Olympic gold medal games.

The Canadians thought they scored first at 7:15. Natalie Spooner knocked in a loose puck for the goal, but USA challenged it for the playing being offside and won the call after a quick review.

Fortunately for the Canadians, they didn't need to wait too long to get one that counted. Sarah Nurse scored to build upon her tournament lead in scoring when, at 7:50, she tipped in Claire Thompson's shot in close with nobody in front to make it 7:50. 

Eight minutes later, the Poulin show took over. Poulin scored her first of the game after stealing the puck off an American defender, cutting into the high slot and sending a shot that hit Alex Cavallini's arm and in for a goal the American netminder would want back.

At 29:08, Canada's top line continued the attack. Nurse started the 3-on-2 by getting the puck to Brianne Jenner, who had her shot blocked in front. Of course, Poulin was there to pick up the rebound and beat Cavallini, scoring her second of the game while recording Canada's seventh goal out of the past 10 in Olympic gold medal games.

With the assist, Nurse took sole possession of first place for the most points in a women's Olympic hockey tournament with 18 points in seven games.

The Americans did a good job of getting shots on net, and Hilary Knight would finally get rewarded with a shorthanded goal late in the second. At 36:39, Knight took Hannah Brandt's feed and took a shot, getting blocked by a defender in front. Knight then got the loose disk and beat a fallen Ann-Renne Desbiens on the secondary opportunity, giving USA some hope heading into the third. 

A late power play gave the United States a 3-2 goal. Amanda Kessel scored on a rebound in close in a scramble with 12 seconds left to cut the lead to just one late in the game. Unfortunately for the Americans, it wasn't enough to force a tie, with Canada holding on for the win to secure the coveted hardware.

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