The game against fierce rivals Canada was epic. Even celebrities like Lil Wayne and Steph Curry tweeted about it. With 2.89 million viewers on the NBC Sports Network alone, the game was the most watched broadcast in the network’s history between 11 p.m. and 2:15 a.m. (Eastern time). Back at home, the Americans went around the media hoping to inspire the next generation of girls to dream bigger about field hockey.
Here is an oral history of the significance of this moment.
Peter Elander, former assistant coach at the University of North Dakota: I started working with the Twins in the fall of 2010. They were pretty raw. The level of competition was very high, and they played hard. Technically they weren’t very good, but technically they worked very well.
Angela Ruggiero, Hall of Famer, former U.S. National Women’s Team player: These are my two little sisters. In a way, I saw myself so much in them. When they came to this team, they expected to play a power play. When Mark Johnson didn’t bring them in, it was like they were moping furiously on the bench. They were angry that they weren’t playing. They didn’t have a bad attitude, they were just young and didn’t know how to hide it. But I could see the desire to make a difference right away. They were never just satisfied. They always wanted to be better.
Elander: At the end of their first year [at UND] they had to get ready to go to Worlds, but our season was over. So we did a lot of individual skating at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. We did three, four hoops and went from goal to goal. In the beginning, we skated at ty-chi speed. Then we went faster. Honestly, they didn’t do very well. They had to work for every control they had.
Peter had names for everything. One of them was called fly fishing. Oops, I did it again. He also gave player names to the plays: Karlsson, Duchene. He probably went through the hoops a thousand times. I probably failed as many times as I improved.
Elander: Usually when you coach players and they don’t know how to do something, they get tired and shy away from the difficulty of trying. If the Lamoureux can’t do something, they want to show you that they can learn it.
Hilary Knight, striker of the USA team. They want them there. We once competed in Grand Forks, rightly against Canada, and they couldn’t think of a better teammate to have on the ice with me.
After losing in overtime in the 2014 Olympic final, the Canadians-their fourth Olympic gold medal-were in the 2018 final in Pyeongchang.
Wrong, not the specified.name of the film specified.The specified.stakes were incredibly high as the U.S. women’s team looked for its first gold medal in 20 years. David G. McIntyre/Zuma Press/Sportswire Icon
Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team and ESPN journalist for the 2018 Olympics: “The 2014 defeat was just devastating for this team. I really felt sorry for them, I saw how it affected them. I knew how badly they wanted to win to have a chance at that podium again, but I didn’t know if Lamoureux would have a chance. … The twins were such an important part of this team … insisted on equality in their battles with USA Hockey [in 2017] and lobbied for maternity leave to be included in their contract. They wanted to leave the program better than they found it.
Knight: As teammates, they were just tough. There was a time, and I don’t even know if I should share that to be honest, but I didn’t know if they would make the Olympic team in 2018. Their talents didn’t manifest in the way we all saw them, and clearly not in the way everyone saw them in 2018.
Cassie Campbell-Pascall, former captain of the Canadian women’s hockey team and CBC anchor: “You wouldn’t make the team this year, that’s my understanding.
Elander: I think it’s been a difficult year for them from a training standpoint. I don’t think they got what they deserved at the beginning of the year.
Maddie Rooney, goalkeeper Team USA: The gold medal game was definitely about the game. Obviously, every time we play in Canada, it’s very intense and physical. But with an Olympic gold medal at stake, it was even more intense than usual.
Campbell-Pascall: Lamoureux were two of the best American players in the game – and not just because they scored goals. They were everywhere and gave everything. You could say they were on a mission to lead their team to victory.
Marie-Philippe Poulin, Team Canada captain: “When you set foot on the ice and play against them, you immediately see that they want to win. They will do everything they can. It’s hard to play against them, but there is mutual respect over the years. The one thing I appreciate is how competitive they are.
Llamas are always physical. They were probably in the box this match – they are still in the box – but they came out of the box and were the heroes of the match for us.
With less than seven minutes to play, Canada leads 2-1 and Lamoureux-Moranda scores on a breakthrough.
Error. Movie not specified.His sister‘s specified.goal would have been an offensive moment in the game, but Lamoureux-Moranda’s decisive goal was crucial. Andrew Nelles/USA TODAY Sports
Poulin: Of course I remember the next goal. I remember it well. Monica had a good run, we had a bad run, she made a breakaway.
Campbell-Pascall: If he’s on one of their sticks and they have that much time, he’ll be at the bottom of the net.
It was an important moment when they tied him up. And a difficult moment for us when we thought we had momentum.
Campbell pascall: It was only 12 seconds from a Canadian perspective. A bad deposit, a bad change, it was only a 12-second deposit if you will.
After a 20-minute four-on-four extension, in which both teams created good chances, the match ended in a penalty shootout.
Wrong, it was not specified.Maddie Rooney but Canadian Megan Agosta who made the stop in the final shootout to win the gold for the United States. Srdjan Suki/EPA
AJ Mleczko, former U.S. national team player and NBC sports reporter: I was so nervous about what happened four years ago. Both in Sochi and in Pyeongchang, I felt like the United States was the strongest team. Because there was a draw, then extension and then penalty kicks. I see Poulin coming onto the ice, and I’m probably joking. Poulin is going to be a killer again.
Poulin: We were all very tense when it was a “make or die” situation, like a shoot-out.
There was a lot of talent.
Mleczko: It’s not like in the NHL, where there are penalties handed out all the time, where you have a memory of who is good, who had success against whom. In international women’s soccer, penalties are not taken regularly.
Lamour-Moranda: The gesture by [Canadian] Melody Daoust was ridiculous.
Mleczko: Daoust did Forsberg! And Peter Forsberg was sitting two cubicles away from me. And I thought, “This is crazy. Everyone who was in the broadcast booth saw him when he did it.
Lamoureux-Davidson: Everyone who passed me was going at a similar pace through the middle, I think Amanda [Kessel] was the only one who was really slower. So I wanted to change my pace; even though I was going down the middle, I was taking the twisty road to get there.
You just knew Jock was going to do something crazy, because she always does something crazy in training. We didn’t do any shooting all year, but ironically, we practiced the day before.
If you want a better look DIRTY Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson scores the winning goal of the game 😱 https://t.co/wkOWa0qwZl pic.twitter.com/7GRRRCOkoNk
– #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018
Lamour-Moranda: She had a confident look in her eyes. She didn’t smile, but she didn’t frown either. There was just this stoic, confident look in her eyes. She went to give a pounding to Maddie Rooney before walking in the middle of the ice.
Lamoureux-Davidson: I was just focused on selling the first dud.
T.J. Oshie, the Washington Capitals’ attacker who scored four of six chances in the shootout against Russia at the 2014 Olympics: “She seemed to be in the same mood as me when I was shooting [at the 2014 Olympics]. Everything else is blocked and all you have to do is go in, do your best and focus on scoring. Everything else takes a back seat. The last thing I thought about was everyone looking at their house or what stage I was playing on.
Knight: The feint she made to bite Shannon [Sabados, the Canadian goalkeeper] was picturesque. On the bench, it was a combination of excitement, anxiety and “Oh my God, it’s going to happen.”
Campbell-Pascall: I was like, holy shit. Courage… in this situation… to take that move off? Then I learned that she does it all the time, so it wasn’t a problem. But at that point, I thought, holy cigarettes, nerves of steel. And that with Shannon Sabados, the best goalie in the world.
Lamoureux-Davidson: And then, of course, I had a good scythe in the back, and it was a wide open net.
Poulin: You have to be very talented to make pieces like that, and for her to do it in a gold medal match, in an Olympic final, it’s incredible.
Elander: I don’t know how some artists, singers or athletes can synchronize everything in this intense moment. It’s incredible to me.
That was fantastic. It would have worked on NHL goalies, no question. His fouling and his backhand and then his patience on the forecheck, it was pretty perfect. It’s not an elementary move in a shootout, and she perfected it.
Lamour-Moranda: The stakes were so high. Not all players want to be in this pressure situation. But with her confidence, I knew she was going to score. But for her to execute that move perfectly enough? I mean, we’re twins, so I feel like I scored too.
Elander: I was so proud that she did something that day that she couldn’t have done eight years ago.
I can still see him celebrating. It must have been so exciting, but also such a relief. Because she’s trying something unusual. When you try something like that and it doesn’t work, it seems sillier than when you try nothing new and it doesn’t work.
Knight: You grow up and you want to be part of those big moments and you want to represent your country because it’s the pinnacle of our sport. And then you win and you realize how important it is to the other people who are on the road with you. So things have come full circle at Disney, that fairy tale ending that we’ve been looking for for 20 years.
Ruggiero: They didn’t celebrate like they won a gold medal, which I liked. Because they knew they didn’t win. It was a big goal, but it wasn’t over.
Knight: I think it was [Brianna] Decker saying to Maddie on the couch, “One more!”
Rooney: At that moment, I drew energy from the bench. I couldn’t imagine what they were going through because they had no control over anything. It was literally before my time.
Ruggiero: By the way, I lost ….on the Rooney save, of course, I was next to the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. But I was still applauding. I didn’t care.
Wrong: The film “Name Not specified.This” is not just a win for Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson and teammates. Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
Obviously, the feelings towards us are very mixed. But it was a great game for women’s field hockey in general.
Ruggiero: In my eight-year career at the IOC, this is my favorite moment. I was supposed to give Sochi a medal, but I had to come back earlier because I was in business school at the time and my teacher wanted to kill me. But thank God, because then I had to give Canada its gold medals. In overtime [in 2018], I had to run somewhere to be in the preparation zone. So I was watching overtime on a small screen. So I went there. I was sitting behind Maddie Rooney. If you watch the replay, you’ll see me banging on the window.
Knight: After the game we partied with our friends, family and coaching staff. And someone walked up to one of our coaches and said, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t take the Twins out?”
Lamoureux-Moranda: What is so important about the quality of our game? It wasn’t just a good women’s game. It was a good field hockey game.
Lamoureux-Davidson: As some of our teammates like to say, America loves winners. We had two silver medals, but when we came back with the gold medal, it was a real whirlwind. We were Team America. We had been to many NHL venues, had traveled all over the country, had heard so many people tell how they let their kids stay up late to go to work the next day because they had stayed up until the middle of the night to watch us play.
Lamour-Moranda: There will be young girls who will remember watching this competition and who will be inspired by it to participate in the Olympics. One day, 20 years from now or more, there will be girls on the Olympic team who will remember watching the competition. That’s pretty unusual to think about.
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