The United States lost a heartbreaker in the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game, falling 3-2 to archrival Canada on Thursday.
Team USA blew a 2-0 lead with five minutes remaining in regulation and gave up the winning goal 8:10 into overtime after taking two penalties in a 1:30 span. The second penalty was on American defenseman Hilary Knight, who called it a “bogus call” when speaking to reporters after the game. [tweet https://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/436599175934140416 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/wyshynski/status/436609409046024192 align=”center”]
It’s difficult to tell how much contact Knight made with Wickenheiser during the breakaway attempt, or at least enough to make the Canadian forward fall to the ice. Knight ultimately was assessed a cross-checking minor. A case could be made that one of Knight’s skates collided with Wickenheiser’s, but it’s tough to determine (watch the replay here). To be fair to the referee, it looked like a penalty at full speed.
The more egregious call in overtime was the slashing penalty that U.S. forward Jocelyne Lamoureux received for tapping Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados’ left pad after a whistle. Players were doing that to the goalies all game, and no penalty was given until Lamoureux did it in the extra period.
It’s unfortunate that a gold medal game was greatly impacted by the officiating. Thursday’s showdown still was one of the most exciting hockey games in Olympic history.
Photo via Twitter/@MatthewProtti