Welcome to “The Big Three-Oh!” I’m turning 30 at the end of July and to celebrate, I am counting down my best/favorite sports moments in my lifetime. If you missed the kickoff post, check it out for the background for the series. Happy 4th of July to everyone! To celebrate, we’re going patriotic for today’s entry.
#19 — USA Women’s Hockey Team wins Gold at 2018 Olympics
Most people know I hate, hate, HATE shootouts, but the above three and half minute video is absolutely electrifying. I forgot how incredible Jocelyn Lamoureux’s goal in “extras” to win was but I remember how outstanding Maddie Rooney was in the net. If you missed this, which is possible since he was played in the middle of the night Eastern time, the US and Canada continued their long-standing date in the Gold Medal Game of the Winter Olympics. The game ended up going to a shootout where, as you saw above, it took one extra round to decide the Gold Medal. The women repping the US of A finally ousted the Canadians for their Gold Medal since 1998.
I referenced this in the 2015 Women’s World Cup post, but the 1998 Women’s Gold in hockey was the first time I’d seen a US National Team win a world competition. I was way too young to have a memory of the Dream Team and even in 1996, I vaguely remember the Atlanta Olympics. 1998 in Nagano was the first time I got excited about watching my country play and it was capped off with that Gold Medal.
Since 1998, the Women’s team had three silver medals and a bronze and the Men’s team faired even worse off. Both lost in the Gold Medal Games on North American soil: Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010, both to Canada. The Canadians once again ousted the US in Sochi at the 2014 games, the Men in the semis, and roaring back against the Women in the Gold Medal Game. That 2014 Women’s Gold Medal Game still seems fresh memory and it certainly stuck with the Women’s team heading into South Korea in 2018.
While I dozed off a couple of times during the game, I stayed awake for the shootout. Women’s hockey was the marquee hockey event with the NHL not sending its players for the Men’s tournament. Not to say the Women’s tournament isn’t normally entertaining, far from it, you just normally can pencil in the USA vs Canada for the Gold Medal Game watch both teams blow the other countries off the ice.
I’ve reference redemption a few times on this list so far and here is one of the best examples of it. With everything sadly still going on with the women’s game, this is one of the best examples of the awesome hockey that the women’s game brings to the table. For me, I had that ’98 team and some good girls teams at Berkshire to keep me interested in watching the Olympic games. I hope that the women’s pro league figures their shit out so that these top athletes can get to work. Until then, we have this memory to us occupied until quarantine ends and the Women’s team can back to preparing to defend the Gold in 2022.
Today’s Instagram Athlete
Nine years ago to count down the days until my 21st birthday, I posted a picture of athletes wearing the cooresponding number of day left to Facebook. While I did not have an Instagram account back in 2011, I have one now so I’ll be revisiting this idea in conjuncture with Top 30 Sports Moments. FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM SO YOU DON’T MISS IT
Scott Hartnell comes in at #19. I originally picked Joe Sakic for this number and maybe for the purposes of “best” versus “favorites?” Anyway, Hartsy was a Flyer for a long time and still loves coming back here, especially in the advent of Gritty. The way he played stuck out to me and made him one of my favorite Flyers along with Danny Briere.Follow @geordo9