USA Women’s Hockey Team Wins First Gold In 20 Years

    The Canadian women were rulers of the global ice hockey scene for the last four Winter Olympic Games. They were the four-time defending champs entering the Gold Medal Womens Hockey Finals against the United States, who has gotten used to the scenario of facing Canada in the championship and falling short. 

    The games are always tightly contested and this one was no different as Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored the game-winning goal for Team USA in a shootout on Thursday to give the United States a 3-2 victory against Canada and take the Olympic gold in PyeongChang, South Korea for the first time in two decades. 

    Team USA hadn’t won the top medal since 1998, when they became the first-ever champion in Olympic womens ice hockey history with a 3-1 victory over Canada in the inaugural gold-medal game at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

    In October of 2017, that historic squad was formally enshrined in the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. 

    That team will always be the first to win gold in the Olympics and the victory over Canada in the final game is one of the signature moments in USA Hockey history, said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. The success of our 98 womens Olympic team has been a significant catalyst for growth in our sport and their positive impact on the sport continues today.

    Pete Blackburn on Twitter

    LAMOUREUX’S WINNER. USA GETS GOLD https://t.co/zzPWyilraE

    You couldnt script better drama, skill, excitement, or toughness. After falling short in the previous two gold medal games against their arch rivals, Team USAs victory should go a long way towards changing the course of womens hockey and inspiring more talented, young, female athletes to play the game in the U.S.  

    Hopefully this is a springboard for womens hockey, not just in the short term, but in the long-term, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Jocelyns twin sister, said. 

    Kind of how the 1996 Women’s Olympic Soccer Team and the 1999 World Cup Soccer team bolstered the popularity of girls soccer in America and led to an explosion of the sport at the grassroots level.  

    Julie Foudy on Twitter

    Wow. 20 years these women have been waiting for this, working for this, dreaming of this. @usahockey women GOLDEN again. So well deserved. And do it w such class. Humble, smart, loyal, unified. #pyeongchang2018

    Twitter was on fire with congratulatory praises from past and current athletes and Olympic Champions. Just another example of how girl magic has continued to spread and dominate the Olympics and World Championships in all sports over the past decade. After two decades of figuring it out, USA Women’s Hockey is back at the top of the food chain. 

    om on Twitter

    CONGRATS to the US Women’s Hockey team for bringing home the GOLD for the first time in 20 years!!!!! You make us all so proud

    Ironically and fittingly, the great triumph over the Canadian Dynasty team was played on Feb. 22nd, 38 years to the day after Herb Brooks team downed the Soviets on Mike Eruziones goal in the “Miracle on Ice.”

    They should make a movie on (this womens final), said U.S. forward Hilary Knight who scored the USAs first goal. We had all of the drama.

    Four years ago at the Sochi Games, Canada beat the United States in overtime, 3-2, to win gold. The scene at the end of these Olympic tournaments has always ended with the US women looking dejected and drained and teary-eyes as the Canadian women tossed their gloves and sticks on the ice in jubilation. 

    This time, it was the other way around and the gold medal win was sort of the “icing” on the cake for a watershed year for American womens hockey. 

    A year ago, we didnt know if we would have a U.S. Womens team as they threatened to boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship if they didnt receive better pay from USA Hockey. A last-minute settlement that included hefty pay raises got them back onto the ice. 

    The Lamoureux sisters, heroes of this gold medal winning team,  were two of the leaders of that fight. With a gold medal under their belts, these women have more than proved their worth and U.S.A. Hockey is more than happy to have paid them. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.