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Jones wins gold in curling; Canada beats U.S. in hockey

Day 13 at the Winter Olympics was all about the Canadian women.

The day began with Jennifer Jones and her curling team of Dawn McEwen, Jill Officer and Kaitlyn Lawes making some history.

They are the first team to go undefeated in women’s curling at the Games. They finished the round robin 9-0 and swept away the world’s best competition by winning the gold medal on Thursday morning.

Team Sweden did give Canada their best challenge in the final game. Jones and Co. had to battle their way to the gold.

At times it was nerve-racking and then other times showed how great of a skip Jones is.

Jones was able to secure the victory by stealing two in the ninth end with Sweden holding hammer. Heading into the 10th end, Jones had the 6-3 lead and all they had to do was peel away every Swedish rock.

The look on Jones’ face when throwing her final hit to run Sweden out of rocks was fantastic. She is known to be serious and not smile while on the ice but was beaming.

She deserved it. She has won at every stage but never been to the Olympics.

“Unbelievable,” Jones told CBC in her post game interview. “We had the best week of our lives in the biggest event that we can play in and we played our best. You couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

This is the first curling medal for Canada since Sandra Schmirler won it all in Nagano in 1998.

It seems fitting that Jones, who also had knee surgery and a child last year, would be the skip to bring back gold to curling in Canada.

After the week that this Winnipeg rink had, the gold was well deserved.

Jones joins Kevin Martin has the only teams to go through an entire Olympics without a loss.

Within hours of Jones et al winning their gold medal, the best rivalry in hockey was getting underway at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi with Canada taking on U.S.A. in the final game of women’s hockey.

It was physical and fast paced. The bad blood runs deep with these two teams.

The teams were scoreless after one period, but then Meghan Duggan scored in the second. Alex Carpenter score on the power play early in the third period and it looked like Canada was done.

After being dominated by the Americans for 56 minutes, the Canadians pulled off an incredible come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory.

Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game with 55 seconds left in regulation then won it with a power play goal at 8:10 in overtime.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Poulin said. “Now we know what we worked all year for.”

It was an unpredictable and wild finish in the final minutes of regulation. Just before Poulin scored, Canada pulled goaltender Shannon Szabados. Then a linesman interfered with Catherine Ward who was trying to hold the line and the Americans shot it at the open net. It hit the post.

It was an incredible finish for a great game. This game proved why women’s hockey should and will remain in the Olympics.

If this was the final Olympics for Shanavon’s Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette or Gillian Apps, they went out the best way possible — world champions. 

Canada’s men’s teams in both sports now have all the pressure to produce.

The hockey team plays U.S.A. on Friday in the semifinal and Brad Jacobs’ rink takes on Great Britain for the gold medal just prior the hockey game.

It could be another great day for Canada at the Olympics, but I doubt they can match Thursday.

The women ruled this day and so far, these Games in terms of gold medals. 

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

 

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