Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: Day 13 Recap

Above: Canada wins gold in women's hockey, beating USA in overtime
Above: Canada wins gold in women's hockey, beating USA in overtime

Every afternoon, Olympic enthusiast Drew Berner tracks the talking points from the the day’s competitions. Here’s our recap of day thirteen at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Canadian Women Save the Best for Last

Paul Henderson; Sidney Crosby; Marie-Philip Poulin. History will remember them as winners—Canadians will call them heroes. The Canadian women’s hockey team looked hopelessly beaten through the first two periods of the final game, down two goals and finding no room to get a puck anywhere near Team USA goalie Jessie Vetter. Finally a lucky bounce off a US defender made it 2-1, but a misplay by one of the officials, who backed into a Canadian defender to allow a US clearing attempt to head straight for Canada’s empty net, would have put the game out of reach if it weren’t for a perfectly placed goalpost. Canada pressed in the final minute and were finally rewarded when Poulin tied the game with the second-biggest goal of her life. But Poulin saved her biggest goal for overtime—after a couple of odd penalties and a foiled breakaway that could have given Canada the win, or at least should have earned a penalty shot, Poulin capped a series of blinding passes with a snapshot that Vetter never saw coming. And the country went wild.

Earlier in the day the Swiss stunned the women’s hockey world with a bronze medal victory over Sweden, whose silver in 2006 is the only other break in the Canada-US domination of women’s hockey.

Curlers Turn it Up to 11

There’s only one thing better than a perfect 10, and that’s Canada’s women’s curling team. Jennifer Jones led her team to a flawless 11-0 record through the Olympic tournament, the first time a female skip has won a gold medal without losing a match. Team Sweden, led by Margaretha Sigfridsson, had to settle for silver after a disastrous ninth end left Canada with a 6-3 lead heading into the 10th, an insurmountable lead given Canada’s dominance. The gold medal is the first Canada’s women have captured since 1998, when Sandra Schmirler—owner of the greatest curling name of all time—took home gold from Nagano.

Orange You Glad They Don’t Play Hockey?

The Netherlands currently sit tied for second in total medals with 22; every one of the medals was earned by a Dutch athlete wearing skates—they’ve even swept four podiums, by far the most in history. No other country in these Olympics is so thoroughly superior in one sport and so ineffectual in every other. Why are the Dutch so damn good at skating fast? Well, the Netherlands is a flat, lowland nation, so any sport requiring a hill is pretty much out of the question. They also have way more facilities—22 regulation-sized rinks for fewer than 17 million people, compared to 18 in Canada and six in the U.S. But mostly, they just care a lot more about skating than any other country. One of the nation’s biggest events is the Elfstedentocht, an 11-city skating marathon—think the Super Bowl played from dawn to dusk by thousands of competitors. So, basically, if you speed skate and you aren’t wearing orange, don’t get your hopes up.

Click here for all of our Sochi coverage.

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Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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