American Olympic hockey heroes reminisce about gold medal-winning shootout
It’s a generally accepted principle in hockey circles that it’s unfortunate at best and anticlimactic at worst when an important game is decided by a shootout.
The women’s gold medal game in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea might be the exception to that rule.
Jocelyne Lamoureax-Davidson’s jaw-dropping triple move that beat goalie Shannon Szabados and U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney’s subsequent stop on Meghan Agosta in the sixth round of the shootout gave the Americans their first women’s hockey gold medal since 1998, ramping up the drama rather than tamping it down.
Lamoureaux-Davidson and Rooney are in Cranberry this week for a joint Canada-U.S. training camp and pair of exhibition games. They took a few moments Monday to reminisce about the heart-stopping tiebreaker.
It might have been Canada’s Melodie Daoust, not Lamoureaux-Davidson, remembered for her highlight-reel shootout move if things had played out differently. Daoust scored on the famed Forsberg move to give Canada a 2-1 shootout lead in the top of the fourth.
It took a clutch glove-side snipe from Amanda Kessel in the bottom of the fourth to tie things up and send the shootout to sudden death.
That’s when Lamoureaux-Davidson played the hero’s role, faking a shot, then faking a backhand before going back to the forehand to leave Szabados flailing and the puck in the back of the net.
The move brought Lamoureaux-Davidson a great deal of notoriety, but she said she thinks she could use it again at some point.
“I’d probably have to switch it up once or twice before I go back to it, but I think if you sell the fake good enough, the goalie’s probably wondering if it’s coming or if it’s not,” she said.
Lamoureaux-Davidson said she hasn’t discussed the move with Szabados.
“She’s one of the greatest goalies to ever play. I have nothing but respect for her,” she said. “We’ve gotten to work together a little bit for the (Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association), and it’s been great to get to know some of the Canadians and the other international players.”
It’s easily forgotten now, but Rooney had to make a save after the flashy goal to give the U.S. the win. She did, shutting the door on Agosta.
“During the shootout, I tell everyone I just kind of blacked out. I don’t even remember what I was thinking,” Rooney said. “I just remember the aftermath, the dogpile on me. It was just an amazing feeling.”
The moment changed the life of Rooney, who was 20 at the time, especially when she was recognized regularly on the street after returning to school at Minnesota-Duluth.
“It was weird walking around campus for a bit,” she said.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .