From The Canadian Press and Hockey Canada
VANCOUVER – Canada is golden again in women's Olympic hockey.
The Canadian women's hockey team defended the gold medals won at the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games with a 2-0 win over archrival U.S. on Thursday at Canada Hockey Place.
Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que., the youngest player on the Canadian team at 18, scored a pair of goals in the first period, showing off her soft hands and quick release. Edmonton goaltender Shannon Szabados stopped all 29 shots for the shutout.
Szabados was an intriguing choice in net for her first start in an Olympic or world championship final. Coach Melody Davidson went with the 23-year-old over veterans Charline Labonte, the winning goalie in the 2006 Olympic final, and Kim St. Pierre, the starter in the 2002 championship game.
Szabados showed no rookie nerves to start the game, however. She came out of her net to play the puck and made glove saves with confidence. She kept the Americans off the scoreboard during five-on-three chances at the start of both the first and second periods. U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter made 27 saves
Centre Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont., was named tournament MVP.
“This medal is Canada's medal,” said Agosta. “To be able to win a gold medal on home soil is an honour. We're going to cherish the moment for the rest of our lives."
To read the entire game recap, visit HockeyCanada.ca.
Piper and Apps were main contributors throughout the tournament on a line with Hayley Wickenheiser, the three combined for 28 points in five games. Wickenheiser posted 11 points, while Piper added 10 of her own and Apps with seven. Piper had the second best goal output on the team behind Meghan Agosta with five tallies and a +12 rating. Apps recorded three goals and four assists with a +10 rating. She was Canada's force infront of the net all tournament, which allowed teammates like Piper and Wickenheiser the ability to put the puck in the net.
Piper appeared in her third Olympics and has now won three straight gold medals, while Apps played in her second winter games and earned her second gold medal.