There’s usually plenty to talk about with the men’s Olympic hockey team (the 1980 Miracle on Ice game being the most prevalent), but the women’s team hasn’t really gotten much spotlight — at least not since 1998 when they brought home the gold. The women’s team this year sought to change that by winning gold for the first time in two decades.

They fought their way through every round until they met their long-standing Canadian rivals for the final round. The U.S. led the game 1-0 until Canada managed to shoot two nets. When the U.S. retaliated by scoring a point of their own within minutes of the game’s end, the game went into overtime.

For the U.S., the overtime period consisted of blocking Canada for each and every shot (thanks to goalie Maddie Rooney) while pulling ahead to end the game 3-2. “To be able to come away with a win, to win from behind like we did, is something special,” said forward Monique Lamoureux-Morando. “We played this game in our minds a thousand times and won it every single way possible, and there’s just something unbelievable with this team.”

Like a goalie stopping a puck, so did the team stop any thoughts of defeat in their minds. They attribute the secret of their success to not second guessing themselves and strengthening the team’s collective resilience by uplifting each individual team member. “It didn’t matter if you’re a veteran and three-time Olympian or if you’re a rookie — I mean, holy cow, Maddie Rooney [was] unbelievable in the nets, it really doesn’t matter. We had so much faith and trust in her,” said forward Gigi Marvin.

To compare the game to the Miracle on Ice would be unfair to the women of the U.S. women’s hockey team, since nothing will ever likely compare to it. What the tenacious U.S. team did this week was a truly incredible and momentous achievement, and nothing should detract from the sheer pride on the faces of every player who gave their all to bring home the gold.

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