I was so sure they were going to win, that with 6 minutes left in the game, I prepared my extra camera to take the team photo from the ice.
Well...that never happened. They played their hearts out for the whole game. It was the worst way for them to lose this one.
Here is what I captured tonight...
The women had a whole lot of offensive push throughout the game.
And honestly, I think that they outplayed the Canadians up until the very end.
Both teams played like you would expect in a gold medal game.
Unlike the last couple of games, this time I sat on a side position instead of shooting behind the net. I think it gave me better images, especially for this offensive game.
Here is a shot on goal, with the puck coming straight at the goalie.
And here is a photo of the puck coming towards me.
In the second period, Jessie (the goalie) made an awesome save on a point-blank shot from the Canadian woman.
During one of the breaks, she skated over towards where I was sitting, and I grabbed this shot of her,
Some of the action shots from my end of the ice.
Alex Carpenter scored the second goal for team USA, and it looked like the team would win gold.
Time to celebrate the goal.
The Americans did not let off on the gas, and kept pressing the Canadians. But, with a couple of minutes left in the game, the Canadians pulled their goalie to give them a one person advantage.
This was a critical point in the third period. One of the American skaters shot the puck down the ice to try and make it a three goal game, basically solidifying the win. But the puck hit the post and did not go in. If only...
And then the Canadians scored two quick goals to send the game into overtime. Myself and most others in the arena were shocked. Although most of the arena was pulling for Canada, so they were happy about the turn of events.
The first couple of minutes of overtime belonged to team USA. I thought that they were going to win it at this point.
But their goaltender came up strong and stopped the shots on goal.
Then the referees called a penalty on one of the American skaters. I heard that is was a questionable call, but honestly, I have no idea. See...most of the time I am looking through a tiny hole in a camera, more worried about being in focus and catching the action, so I do not see the same like others watching it in the stands or on TV. Most of the time, I know that there was a goal by the crowd noise as much as anything else.
Well...the Canadians did not waste the powerplay opportunity and they won the game in overtime. Obviously, there was jubilation on their side of the ice.
It was a completely different story on our side.
I am not sure what they said in this huddle, but none of them came out of it feeling any better. It was heartbreaking for all of them.
And for me, being their photographer, people might think that it would be less emotional, but I took it hard. They are such nice ladies and I really wanted this for them.
It was really hard to take these photos, for a couple of reasons. I was not sure if the team even wanted them, and I felt the same way I did when photographing a funeral. When people are crying and not feeling good, I doubt they want that captured in a photo. But I did take the photos, because it is my job and because it tells the story.
You can see it on their faces.
I know that a lot of people will say, "hey, they should be happy that they won a silver medal", but with type of game, you don't win a silver medal, you lose a gold one. It is a tough one to take, especially the way it happened.
Team Canada was all smiles, as you can imagine. And for all of you people reading this who live in Canada, you should know that I love Canada and the people. I play hockey, therefore I have a little Canadian blood in my body too. :)
Myself and a select group of photographers were allowed to walk out onto the ice to shoot the medal ceremony. I photographed the Canadian team and the Swiss team, but the American's were too devastated about the loss and just left the ice without a group shot.
They just hugged each other and then skated off (after congratulating the other teams). As I said, it was a really tough loss for them, and tough to photograph for me.
I saw them outside the arena at 2am, as I was leaving, and I still don't think they were content with a silver.
Congratulations to Team Canada for an amazing comeback.
Now, let's see what happens tomorrow, when the USA men compete against the Canadians.