On Thursday, the women's ice hockey tournament in the 2018 Olympics ended with a nail-biting shootout between the United States and Canada, the video of which explains why SB Nation called the teams' relationship "the Winter Olympics' best rivalry." An astonishing maneuver by forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson sealed the win for the U.S. and sent the internet abuzz.
The dazzling shootout secured the United States its first gold medal in women's ice hockey since 1998. The event started off with a point for the United States but quickly turned in favor of the Canadians, who scored twice and held the lead for most of the game. American Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Jocelyne's twin) made a goal with just six minutes left in the final period, sending the teams into overtime.
No one scored during the 20-minute overtime, and the subsequent penalty shootout resulted in a tie. The game was forced to move into a sudden-death shootout, an agonizing way to end such a high-stakes event.
But Lamoureux-Davidson made it happen for the United States. Approaching the goal, she feigned going in one direction, then abruptly switched, and then switched again before sliding the puck into the net behind Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados.
Here's the magnificent shot from one angle:
And another one:
Lamoureux-Davidson has apparently been practicing that move with her sister and coach Peter Elander. They even gave it a name: the "Oops, I Did It Again," in honor of that famous Britney Spears song. Lamoureux-Morando told NBC Sports that they've been working on it for four years, and that she saw her twin perform it successfully against the Olympic Athletes from Russia earlier in the games.
"I've seen it a handful of times and it usually works every time," she said, laughing.
"The last shootout against Canada, I looked like an idiot," Lamoureux-Davidson told reporters after the game, referring to a preliminary round in which her penalty shot was stopped by goalie Geneviève Lacasse. But she evidently came prepared to win the final round.
The coach of the U.S. team, Robb Stauber, expressed his satisfaction in choosing the right athletes to participate in the shootout.
We picked some of the right players because our players did well in the shootout. Certainly one better — and that's all it took.
The triumph was a particularly sweet one for the U.S., because of a long-standing rivalry between its team and Canada's. Since women's ice hockey joined the Olympics in 1998, the United States has only taken the gold medal once, in that inaugural event. Canada has won every other time while the U.S. team trailed close behind. Although Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland have also made the podium over the years, the Olympic sport is really seen as a contest between the two North American teams.
"It's a dream come true," said American forward Hilary Knight after the game. "These women are incredible, and I really wish that you could be in the locker room to experience what we experienced," she added, referring to her team's celebration.
"It's pretty amazing," said Lamoureux-Morando. "It's something that we've worked for our entire lives, especially the six of us. This is our third crack at it. To be able to come away with a win, to come from behind like we did is something special."
The sweetness felt by the U.S. after its victory was matched in bitterness by the Canadians. Many defeated players were reportedly in tears during the ceremony that followed the game — and right after she was bestowed her silver medal, Canadian defender Jocelyne Larocque removed it.
"We were chasing a gold medal," she told journalists afterward. "We were going for gold."