Top Story, Women's Hockey

Five BC Women’s Hockey Skaters Take Gold in Pyeongchang

Boston College women’s hockey head coach Katie Crowley was one of the last American skaters to don a gold medal at the Olympic Games. She, along with the rest of Team U.S.A., beat out Canada, 3-1, in the final round of the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. Twenty years later, Crowley once again had a hand in Team U.S.A.’s run to Olympic Gold, not as a player, but as a mentor: the 11th-year Eagles coach watched as five of her current and former players—Emily Pfalzer, BC ’15, Haley Skarupa, BC ’16, Megan Keller, BC ’19, Kali Flanagan, BC ’19, and Cayla Barnes, BC ’22—edged their North American rivals, a Canada team that was gunning for its fifth-straight Olympic gold medal, on Wednesday night in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Just four years removed from letting a two-goal lead slip and ultimately falling to Canada in overtime in Sochi, Russia, the Americans executed a role reversal of sorts. Team U.S.A. orchestrated a third-period comeback, all thanks to the stick of Monique Lamoureux-Morando. Seconds after goaltender Maddie Rooney stopped a 2-on-1 rush, Lamoureux-Morando streaked down the ice with less than six and a half minutes remaining in regulation. Approaching the cage, the Grand Forks, N.D. native elevated the puck into the top-right corner of the net, tying the game at two, effectively forcing overtime.

Following a full period of 4-on-4 play, the game was still tied. The Americans would need the second of the two Lamoureux twins to get them over the hump. In the sixth round of the ensuing shootout, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson deked out Canadian netminder Shannon Szabados for the game-winning goal. To seal the deal, Rooney, a redshirt junior at Minnesota Duluth, stopped one last shot, returning Team U.S.A. back to the top of the podium.

The Lamoureaux sisters’ heroics wouldn’t have been necessary, if it wasn’t for Team Canada’s scoring spurt in the second frame—a period that the Americans had dominated throughout the tournament. Not only did the Canadians light the lamp twice, but they also halted a Team U.S.A. attack that ended up outshooting Canada, 41-31, and was hot off Hilary Knight’s first-period goal.

When it mattered most, the Lamoureaux twins kicked their game into full gear, capping off one of the most dramatic Olympic finals in recent memory.

All five BC skaters played in each of Team U.S.A.’s five tournament games, and the Eagles’ four defenseman—Pfalzer, Keller, Flanagan, and Barnes—logged major minutes in the gold medal game, particularly during the 4-on-4 overtime period. Keller led the group with two points over the course of the five-game spread, recording a pair of assists.

The victory ups the program’s medalist count to eight. Kelli Stack, BC ’11 (silver medals in both 2010 and 2014), Molly Schaus, BC ’11 (silver medals in both 2010 and 2014), and Alex Carpenter, BC ’16 (silver medal in 2014) were BC women’s hockey’s first three skaters to ever make their way to the podium.

Earning Team U.S.A.’s first gold medal since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1998 undoubtedly immortalizes the five women in both Olympic and BC history.

Featured Image by Julio Cortez / AP Photo

February 22, 2018