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Page last updated at 02:02 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Canada outclass US to take gold in ice hockey

Canada celebrate winning ice hockey gold

Canada thrill home crowd to win ice hockey gold

Hosts Canada secured their eighth gold medal of the Games with a memorable 2-0 win over the United States in the final of the women's ice hockey.

Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice in the first period to give the partisan local fans something to shout about.

And an inspired display by goaltender Shannon Szabados, who made 28 saves, saw Canada win the title for a third straight Olympics.

Earlier, Finland beat Sweden 3-2 in overtime to take bronze.

But that match was little more than a warm-up for the main event, at least as far as most of the thousands of fans - including Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky - packed into Canada Hockey Place were concerned.

And their team delivered with a superb display to gain revenge for defeat by the US in the world championship.

"It was special to do it at home," said Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser, a veteran of all three gold medal-winning teams.

"They have all been sensational. This one wasn't pretty but we gutted it out and we got the job done."

Poulin opened the scoring after 13 minutes and 55 seconds into the first period off a pass from Jennifer Botterill and found the net again just 2:55 later to put her side firmly in charge.

And try as they might, the US could not find a way past Szabados with Canada seldom looking in any real danger of missing out on the gold.

Victorious Finland women's ice hockey team

Finland grab bronze in women's ice hockey

"I looked up in the stands and saw a sign that said, 'Proud to be Canadian,' and that's what I am today," said Szabados.

"My team-mates were unbelievable today. We played a great game, and this is an incredible moment."

US coach Mark Johnson added: "We have no excuses. They played well.

"Their young goaltender played well. She didn't give us many second opportunities. She came in with the pressure of a nation on her and she never cracked."

In the bronze medal match, the sides were tied after the third period but it took less than three more minutes for Karoliina Rantamaki to score the game-winner.

Goaltender Noora Raty made 16 saves and Finland, who led 2-1 after the second period, before Danijela Rundqvist equalised for the Swedes.

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see also
Canada issue celebration apology
26 Feb 10 |  Ice hockey
Winter Olympics weather
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010

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