The 2014 Sochi Olympics turned out to be quite successful for the red and white. Canada not only took home a total of 25 medals, including 10 gold, but both the men and women defended their hockey crowns.
The men’s team defeated Sweden 3-0 to win back-to-back gold medals for the first time in 60 years and the women’s team had a heart stopping 3-2 overtime win over the rival American team.
The women were the first to bring home the gold on Feb. 20.
Led by five-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada had an undefeated record going into the final against the United States. Women’s hockey has been in the Olympics since 1998 and this was the fourth time that that US and Canada have met for the gold.
The Americans had a 1-0 lead after two periods and looked poised to win their first gold since the 1998 games. Alexandra Carpenter would score just moments into the third period to make it 2-0 for the US. Time began to wind down on the Canadians and they couldn’t put anything past the American goalie.
With just over three minutes to go, Brianne Jenner threw one at the net and it deflected in off of an American player to cut the lead in half. With momentum on their side and the goalie pulled, Marie-Philip Poulin answered Canada’s prayers and tied the game with only 56 seconds left.
The overtime was back and forth before Marie-Philip Poulin scored the golden goal for Canada. This shot extended the team’s win streak to 20 consecutive games at the Olympics, dating back to 2002. The Canadian women’s team has now won four straight gold medals at the Winter Olympics.
The men’s team turned in one of the most dominating tournaments on record. Canada allowed only three goals in six games — a phenomenal defensive showing every single game that was capped off by a 3-0 rout of the Swedish team in the final.
The Canadian team started the tournament off with a 3-1 win over Norway, followed by a 6-0 victory over Austria. They had their first real test agaisnt a tough Finnish team and won 2-1 in overtime. In the medal round they had a surprisingly tough game against Latvia.
Canada outshot the Latvians 59-16 but escaped with just a 2-1 win. Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis made save after save against a talented Canadian team before Shea Weber scored the game winner late in the third period. He put on one of the greatest individual efforts ever seen in the Olympics by a goaltender.
Canada then went on to beat the Americans 1-0, the lone goal coming from Jamie Benn booking their ticket to the final.
Jonathon Toews opened the scoring and Canada never looked back. Sidney Crosby had his best game of the tournament and scored the insurance goal to make it 2-0. Chris Kunitz put the icing on the cake in the third period as Canada claimed gold again.
This is the second time the men’s team has won back-to-back gold medals, the first coming during the 1948 and 1952 games.
Goalkeeper Carey Price was spectacular over the course of the tournament, recording shutouts in the final two games. For his efforts Price was named the tournaments top goaltender. Drew Doughty was unbelievable on defence and was the biggest offensive threat to the opposing team for the first three games. He also made the tournament all-star team.
In the playoffs, all four of Canada’s lines were rolling and they got offensive and defensive contributions from everyone. For the majority of all their games, Canada controlled the play and had teams hemmed into their own zone.
The women’s team will look for their fifth consecutive gold while the men will look to make it three in a row in 2018 in South Korea.