I am not going to get into the politics involved in woman's hockey right now and whether or not it should be an Olympic Sport as the other countries are slow in developing programs in their respective countries. Finland does seems to be making an effort and china is a lot better they they have been but if they aren't careful it could spell the end of Olympic Woman’s Hockey...but I have deviated away from my original theme.
The Canadian Woman won a spirited and well played game versus the Americans where they managed a 2-0 shutout victory. 18 year old phenom Marie-Philip Poulin was the lone goal scorer and Olympic rookie Shannon Szabados pitched the shutout for Canada. This years team was a healthy mix of young and old and have come a long way since their camp in Calgary last summer and played over 50 games versus many Midget Boys AAA teams and international friendlies versus the same team they beast for the gold, Team USA.
Going into the tournament I knew that, as everyone else did, it was going to be a USA Canada Final. There were a few players that I was excited to watch and see how they would do; Captain Hayley Wickenheiser was one as she was the leader and the most recognizable player on the team. The young Szabados in net as the Canadians had 3 goaltender that could very well have been #1’s. Marie-Philip Poulin was the third (in the summer Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier saw her on the ice and remarked that she skated and shot the puck well enough to be in the NHL...and he was not joking). Last but not least was Meghan Agosta from Mercyhurst College - she was the most pleasant of all. Agosta was named tournament MVP with 15 points.
Like I said I was looking forward toward seeing Meghan Agosta play, she did not disappoint on the ice...or after the game. The Woman had a bit of an unscheduled party on the ice at Canada Hockey Place that got caught on “film” where some members of the team were on the ice enjoying beer and smoking cigars in celebration. They worked hard, they came up big, and then they played hard — the way athletes so often do.I don’t have a problem with this as much as some have. Boys may be Boys, but Woman can be Woman and there should be no double standard. If this were a men’s team it probably isn’t as big a deal. Sure it was not a good idea to be doing it in the arena, the lit cigars inside may have been a little above and beyond and maybe the alcohol should have been left in the locker room but come on, hockey players have done worse.
I say no harm no foul. Would I say the same thing if it was USA who won and did the same thing...i don’t know, and thankfully I don’t have to make that decision. I probably would have called them out and said it was a cocky US thing and was in bad taste...but Canada won, so it is OK. Canadians are often criticized for not being patriotic enough or wave the flag enough or pound our chests enough. It wasn’t the best decision but it is done and we are all still proud of our Canadian Woman.