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Danielle Serdachny golden goal lifts Canada over USA


Canada needed overtime to secure a revenge win against the US on Sunday night in Utica.

Sunday night’s gold medal game did not disappoint with Canada looking to score a revenge win over the Americans for a 6-3 loss they suffered at the gold medal game last year in Brampton. This time it came down to OT as Danielle Serdachny five minutes into the extra frame sealed the 6-5 win for the visiting Canadians.

“It’s pretty special and it’s hard to find the words right now,” Serdachny said after the game. “To have my family, my coaches, my friends from Colgate and to see them in the crowd celebrating was so special. Obviously winning a gold medal is incredible, but to have all those people here supporting me is truly so special and one I’ll remember for a long time.”

The win earned the team a 13th gold medal in 23 tournaments played and after two years back to back in North America the scene will shift to Czechia next year.

“As a coach you have to be uncomfortable at times,” Canada head coach Troy Ryan mentioned in his post-game press conference. “I just stand back there and don’t have to deal with what the players are, like the physicality and the pressure of the game. Hats off to [the players] for sticking with it. I know a lot of people talk about the age of our team, but I think that’s when the experience kicks in and the comfortability of playing in those tough games; emotionally, it probably doesn’t impact them as much.”

Anne Renee Desbiens got the start in goal and made 19 saves in the win and was relieved after the game to see her and her team come out on top.

“Oh man that feels good to win it on US soil,” Desbiens said. “We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one”.

Before tonight’s game, the Americans hadn’t lost a game on American soil in 20 years, a streak that the Canadians seemed pretty happy to snap after losing on home ice last year.

The big story of the game had to be their captain Marie Phillipe Poulin who entered the tournament with a lot of questions about her health after suffering a lower-body injury playing for Montreal in the PWHL but as always came up clutch in the biggest game of the year as she always does scoring two goals.

“The heart was going up and down, it was such an emotional game and surreal to be part of this game,” Poulin said. “We knew it was going to be exciting and be back and forth. A 6-5 game – it’s been a while since we have seen that back-and-forth type of game. I have so much respect for [the Americans], they work so hard, we work so hard, and we are going for the same goal at the end of the day, and obviously, we’re very happy to get back on top.”

Poulin was also named Canada’s player of the game which didn’t surprise head coach Ryan at all.

“Pou will always find a way to be a difference-maker,” Ryan responded. “The end of the preliminaries and in the semifinal, she impacted with a little bit of greasy play with physicality and just finding ways to impact the game. “Tonight was a whole other level and I could see it in her eyes every time we called her name.

“She was ready to go, there’s very few athletes in the world that can perform in a pressure situation like she can.”

Once again it was hostile territory as over 4000 fans packed the Adirondack Center with spurts of Canadian fans but mostly all game the chants “USA, USA” were heard. Once again it was one of those nights where the officials were calling everything trying to send a message to both teams that physical contact wouldn’t be tolerated.

It didn’t take long for Canada to open the scoring as seven minutes into the game Erin Ambrose scored off a powerful shot from the point. Two minutes later the Americans responded when Laila Edwards who up to this point led the tournament scoring with five was able to beat Desbiens with a powerful wrist shot.

Julia Gosling who is cousins with Canadian actor Ryan Gosling regained the lead for Canada four minutes into the second period as she was able to beat American netminder Aerin Frankel with a wrist shot of her very own to give Canada the 2-1 lead. With less than 10 minutes to go in the middle frame, Meghan Keller tied the game two after her shot squeezed by Desbiens.

Seven minutes later Alex Carpenter gave the Americans the 3-2 lead as she fired a puck from just inside the crease to give her team the lead for the first time in the game. Poulin tied the game with 1:09 left beating Frankel with a shot that went to corner to make it 3-3 going into the third period.

Nine minutes into the third period Hilary Knight made it 4-3 as she was able to tip a puck into the back of the net but two minutes later Emily Clarke tied it again as her shot went off an American player to make it 4-4. With 7:41 remaining in regulation Poulin scored her second of the game as she took a shot on the net and scored on the rebound after whacking at the puck three times..

Two minutes later the Americans made it 5-5 as Caroline Harvey got a pass from Lacey Eden who was behind the net and beat Desbiens with a close-range shot.

The game went to overtime and less than five minutes into the extra period the Americans were called for too many players on the ice and just as the powerplay was going to expire Serdachny tipped a puck off a shot from Ambrose right into the net to seal the win and the gold medal for Canada.

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