The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/20/2014 6:27 PM | Comments: 0
SOCHI, Russia - Marie-Philip Poulin has become a golden goal scorer for Canada.
Poulin was only 18 when she scored both Canadian goals in the Olympic women's hockey final four year ago in Vancouver.
Her sense of occasion kicked in again Thursday in Sochi.
Poulin's overtime goal and equalizer in the final minute of regulation propelled Canada to a 3-2 win over the U.S. and to a fourth straight Olympic gold in women's hockey.
"Marie-Philip Poulin is the best player in women's hockey, hands down," said linemate Jayna Hefford. "To have her on your team, you know she's going to come through in the big moments.
"She's going to be around for a long time and she's going to be the captain of this team in the future for sure."
Trailing 2-1 and with goaltender Shannon Szabados pulled for an extra attacker, Poulin struck with 55 seconds left in the game. The winger from Beauceville, Que., then scored the overtime winner at 8:10.
"It's an amazing moment," Poulin said. "I think we all know it was a team effort tonight. I'm so happy we got that gold medal back."
Poulin's preparation for Sochi was less than ideal. She suffered a high ankle sprain back in September. An opposing player landed on the outside of her left ankle during a tournament against midget triple-A men's teams.
Poulin didn't play again until November, when she re-injured the ankle in her third game back. She returned to the lineup and scored a goal in her first game back Dec. 28 against the United States.
"It was tough. Three months off and being back here with the jersey on and the gold medal around my neck, it's the best thing ever," she said.
Poulin is soft-spoken but her game is high volume. Her quick hands and feet and outstanding puck skills make her a threat to score every time she steps the ice.
"There's players on our team I think extremely highly of, but there's something there with Poo," Canadian head coach Kevin Dineen said.
"She doesn't speak a lot but I always kind of catch her eyes and there's something in her eyes that spells big-game player. And obviously she showed that in Vancouver and I think she put a major stamp on that today."
CP reporter Neil Davidson contributed to this story
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