In stark contrast to their preliminary game, the gold medal game between Canada and the US was everything fans are used to. It was fast, physical, end-to-end action.
In the end, though, Canada emerged victorious to win their first World Championship gold medal since 2012.
Canada came out a bit slow to start the game. They were sloppy and off a step, and they seemed to be out of sync. The US - in particular Alex Carpenter - made them pay for it. Twice Canada left Carpenter too free on Ann-Renée Desbiens’ doorstep, and twice she scored in a three-minute span.
USA GOAL!— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) September 1, 2021
Is being on hatty watch 12 minutes into the game good or something? idk, ask Alex Carpenter. pic.twitter.com/NMcIO9574a
Overall, it wasn’t a great period for Canada, but they really turned it around for the second. Whatever happened in the locker room at intermission worked. They came out as a whole new team, playing with a renewed sense of urgency. It paid off. Just six minutes into the second, Brianne Jenner scored, wrapping the puck around Nicole Hensley’s leg while on the power play. This was the first time all tournament the US gave up a power play goal.
Less than two minutes later, Canada struck again to tie the game. On a set play off the face off, Jocelyne Larocque rocketed a shot pass from the point that Jamie Lee Rattray perfectly tipped in through Hensley’s legs.
It was all Canada, all the time in the second. The US was on their heels, and they were extremely lucky to not give up more goals.
CANADA GOAL!— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) September 1, 2021
JAMIE LEE RATTRAY WITH THE TIP IN FRONT ON A JOCELYNE LAROCQUE SHOT!
CAN 2 - 2 USA pic.twitter.com/TVV94O6yBg
The third period was more of the same. Canada controlled the puck and the play, with Hensley keeping the US in the game. It didn’t help either that Canada couldn’t stay out of the box and that the US has a terrible power play. All of that added up to a sleepy, quiet, and frankly bad-looking American team. Neither team had great chances, at least not until the final six minutes of regulation.
Both teams came alive in the waining minutes of the third period. Poulin and Rattray had an incredible chance that Hensley and then the post saved, possibly by magic. On the other end, Desbiens made equally great saves to send the game to overtime.
For the first time, overtime would be 3-on-3 sudden death with no penalty shots at all, thankfully.
Canada largely controlled the overtime with the US still looking a bit discombobulated. About seven minutes into overtime, the US took a bad change and left Poulin streaking down the ice. The captain collected a pass from Jenner and shot top shelf. The puck went in and out so quickly that no one - except for Poulin and some of her teammates - knew it went in. Play continued on while the video review took place. It was quite the odd turn of events, but eventually the buzzer sounded to signal the goal was good and Canada had won gold.