Marie-Philip Poulin might never reach the same heights in Canadian hockey history that players such as Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe have, but she could come close. That will be especially true if she continues to play the role of Olympic hero.
Poulin once again led Team Canada to a gold medal, this time in a 3-2 overtime thriller over Team USA on Thursday in Sochi. The 22-year-old scored the game-tying goal with under a minute to play in the third period, then added the game-winning golden goal in overtime.
That impressive play should come as no surprise to hockey fans in the Boston area — at least not those who follow the local college hockey scene. That’s because the Beauceville, Que., native is a senior at Boston University and has one more year of eligibility.
Poulin decided to take this year off from Terrier hockey in order to prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which certainly seems like the right idea. She ended up scoring three goals and adding two assists during her five games in Sochi. The lasting impact, however, will be what Poulin did when it mattered most. The two goals in the gold medal game mirror her effort during the 2010 tournament in Vancouver — Poulin also netted two goals in the gold medal game as Canada defeated the U.S. 2-0.
Poulin plans on returning to the college game next year, when she’ll finish off her eligibility with one more season at BU.
Thursday’s gold medal game had plenty of Boston connections. Both Team USA goals were scored by Massachusetts natives. Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) got the scoring underway in the second period, and Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) tallied to open the third period. Duggan currently plays for the WCHA’s Boston Blades, and Carpenter plays at Boston College.