No one in the building knew the game was over -- except Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin.
Poulin sniped a shot bar down, going over the left shoulder of United States’ goaltender Nicole Hensley to give Canada a 3-2 overtime win in the gold medal game at the 2021 IIHF women’s world championship.
The 30-year-old was the only one to apparently see the puck go in, as play kept going for over a minute of play after her shot hit the crossbar and bounced straight down. It wasn’t until the buzzer rang to stop play that Canada went into celebration-mode as it was confirmed the puck hit the crossbar and went fully across the goal line for the win.
The loss for the United States marks the end of an incredible streak of six consecutive gold medals at the world championship, as it’s the first time since 2012 the United States have not won. It is Canada’s 11th gold medal in the event, the most out of any nation.
For the third game in a row, Alex Carpenter opened the scoring for the United States. The former Boston College Eagle fired a loose puck on net that was at first saved, but she would not be denied on her second attempt, beating Canada’s goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead halfway through the opening frame.
Less than three minutes later, it was Carpenter again finding the back of the net. Lee Steicklin sent a wrister from the point on the power play that was blocked, but Carpenter cleaned up in front, putting home the rebound to double the U.S. lead.
However, it was all Canada in the second and beyond. Brianne Jenner brought Canada within one with her goal five minutes into the frame. With a scramble in front, Jenner was able to find the rubber, pull from her backhand to forehand and roof it over Hensley.
About two and a half minutes later, Canada executed a perfect play off of an offensive zone faceoff. Poullin won the faceoff right to Jenner, who sent it to Jocelyne Larocque at the point. She ripped a one-timer on net, which was tipped by a wide-open Jamie-Lee Rattray at the top of the crease to knot the game at two.
A scoreless third period led to a 3-on-3, sudden death overtime period where Poulin, who missed time during the games after an injury in the preliminary round, was able to get Canada the gold. The country was undefeated at the tournament this year.
Jenner finished the game with three points, ending the tournament with 11 points, the second-most among skaters. Only her teammate Melodie Daoust had more points with 12.
The United States are all too familiar with Poulin and her clutch gene. Poulin scored the game-tying and game-winning goal in the gold medal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics to give Canada a 3-2 OT win against the U.S. She also potted the lone two goals against the U.S. in 2-0 win for Canada in gold medal game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
With the U.S. heading home with silver and Canada getting gold, the focus for each side now turns to the 2022 Beijing Olympics in February. The two nations will likely enter as favorites to win at the Olympics. It has been a Canada-United States gold medal game at the three previous Games, with Canada winning the last two matches.