by Jason La Rose
February 23, 2014, Sochi, Russia (ISN) – For the second consecutive Olympic Winter Games, and third time in four tries, Canada has won the gold medal in both men’s and women’s hockey.
Canada’s National Men’s Team claimed its second straight gold medal with a 3-0 win over Sweden on Sunday, while Canada’s National Women’s Team made it four consecutive gold medals with a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory over the United States last Thursday.
It is the first time Canada has won back-to-back Olympic gold in men’s hockey since 1948 and 1952, and the first time any team has stood atop the podium at consecutive Games since the Soviet Union in 1984 and 1988.
Canada has now won nine Olympic men’s hockey gold medals (1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1948, 1952, 2002, 2010, 2014), more than any other country.
Jonathan Toews (Winnipeg, Man./Chicago, NHL), captain Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL) and Chris Kunitz (Regina, Sask./Pittsburgh, NHL) all scored their first goal of the tournament to provide the offence on Sunday, while Carey Price (Anahim Lake, B.C./Montreal, NHL) made 24 saves for his second consecutive shutout.
Price was named Top Goaltender by the tournament directorate, finishing with a tournament-leading 0.59 goals-against average and .972 save percentage, while defenceman Drew Doughty (London, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL) earned a spot on the media all-star team.
Canada won all six of its games in Sochi, the first time since the 1928 Olympic Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland that the Canadians went through the entire tournament without a loss or tie on its record.
In the women’s tournament, Canada became the first team to win four consecutive gold medals in any women’s sport at the Olympic Winter Games when Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) scored at 8:10 of overtime to complete Canada’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the final four minutes.
Poulin also scored the tying goal with 55 seconds left in regulation, after Brianne Jenner (St. Catharines, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) got the Canadians on the board with 3:26 remaining.
It marked the second consecutive Olympic gold medal game that Poulin scored twice; she had both Canadian goals in a 2-0 victory over the U.S. at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, B.C.
With the gold medal, Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS), Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and captain Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) joined Soviet biathlete Alexander Tikhonov and German speedskater Claudia Pechstein as the only athletes to win gold at four consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Ruthven, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) was the lone Canadian named to the media all-star team. She also earned a spot on the all-star team four years ago in Vancouver.
Canada will go for an unprecedented third gold medal when Canada’s National Sledge Team takes to the ice at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi from March 7-16. No country has ever won gold in the men’s, women’s and sledge hockey events in a single year.
Canada opens the Paralympic sledge hockey tournament against Sweden on March 8, and will also face Norway and the Czech Republic in preliminary round play in Group A. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals on March 13, with the bronze medal and gold medal games scheduled for March 15.