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SOCHI, Russia — Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice for the second straight Olympic gold medal game and Canada beat the United States 3-2 in overtime on Thursday for its fourth consecutive title.
Canada trailed 2-0 before Brianne Jenner and Poulin scored in the final 3:26 of regulation, and Poulin had the game-winner with a power play goal at 8:10 of overtime.
“I think it always gets better, for sure,” Poulin, who also scored twice in the Vancouver final four years ago, said Thursday night with her second gold medal draped around her neck. “It’s so hard to get here and to bring it back (home) is amazing.”
Shannon Szabados made 27 saves for Canada, which has won 20 straight in the Winter Games since the Nagano final in 1998. That was the only gold medal for the United States, which has lost in the Olympic final to Canada three times since then.
Jesse Vetter made 28 saves for the Americans. Meghan Duggan and Alex Carpenter scored for the U.S.
Switzerland beat Sweden for the bronze medal earlier Thursday.
Vetter, the loser in the Vancouver final, had a shutout until Jenner’s seemingly harmless shot deflected off a defender’s knee and into the net. With the goalie pulled for an extra skater, U.S. forward Kelli Stack sent the puck the length of the ice before it clanged off the post and landed harmlessly in front of the goal.
It was still a one-goal game, but not for long.
With Szabados still off, Poulin scored just 54.6 seconds before the end of regulation.
After six tense minutes of overtime, the U.S. picked up a power play when Catherine Ward was sent off for cross-checking. But five seconds later, Jocelyne Lamoureux was called for slashing for swiping at the goalie’s pads after a save. And during a bad player change by the Americans, five-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser got free on a breakaway before she was bumped from behind by Hilary Knight and sent sprawling.
It could have been called a penalty shot. It could have been no call. (Knight denied making any contact at all. And, when asked about the officiating, U.S. coach Katey Stone issued only a terse, “No comment.”)
But Knight was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking.
With the 4-on-3 advantage, the Canadians worked the puck around and over to Poulin, who knocked it into the open net and set off the celebration on the bench and among the Maple Leaf-waving fans.
“Unfortunately, when you let other factors come in, it can bounce either way. That’s what happened today,” Knight said. “It’s heartbreaking, and you go four years, and you think you’ve got the game in the bag, and something happens. It’s unfortunate, but this group has represented our country at an outstanding level. So can’t really be too heartbroken about it.”
Elsewhere, it was a day of firsts.
France swept the podium in the men’s skicross, claiming all three medals in a Winter Games event for the first time; Adelina Sotnikova gave Russia its first Olympic gold in women’s figure skating; Canada won its first gold medal in women’s curling; and Maddie Bowman of the US won gold in the debut of women’s halfpipe skiing.
Also, perennial Winter Games power Norway won the Nordic combined team competition — and its games-leading 10th gold medal.
On Day 14 of the Sochi Olympics, a Ukrainian skier withdrew from competitions in response to the deaths of dozens of anti-government protesters in her country.
“I don’t want to participate when in my country people die,” Bogdana Matsotska told The Associated Press.
The 17-year-old Sotnikova’s victory dropped defending champion Yuna Kim into second place. Julia Lipnitskaia, the Russian sensation with the weight of a nation on her 15-year-old shoulders, again fell during her routine and ended up fifth. Carolina Kostner of Italy took bronze. The Russians have won three figure skating gold medals at the Sochi Olympics: team, pairs and women’s. Only the women’s was a surprise.
WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY
Poulin also scored Canada’s tying goal in the final minute of regulation. Brianne Jenner scored the other for Canada, which has won 20 straight in the Winter Games since the Nagano final in 1998. Meghan Duggan and Alex Carpenter scored for the U.S. Switzerland beat Sweden for the bronze medal.
The 20-year-old Bowman edged silver-medalist Marie Martinod of France in ski halfpipe, while Ayana Onozuka of Japan took the bronze. Bowman put together a pair of athletic runs that produced the two highest scores in the finals. In the men’s skicross, Jean Frederic Chapuis won the gold to lead the French 1-2-3 finish. Arnaud Bovolenta won silver and Jonathan Midol captured bronze.
Norway finished third in the ski jumping and had to start the 20-kilometer race behind. But cross-country ski specialist Mangus Moan made up the deficit on the first leg and Norway outdueled Germany and defending champion Austria in the relay. Germany, which had the lead after the ski jump, took silver and Austria got the bronze.
Canada’s 6-3 gold medal victory in women’s Olympic curling came at the expense of Sweden, which had beaten the Canadians for the title in Vancouver four years ago. Britain won the bronze by beating Switzerland 6-5.