Hockey gold for Canada
Host nation's women complete first part of attempted double
Last Updated: February 26, 2010 8:57am
Unbelievable: Canada celebrates
Canada's women have won the ice hockey gold medal in Vancouver, the first half of what the host nation hopes will be an Olympic double.
They beat the USA 2-0 at Canada Hockey Place, with Marie-Philip Poulin scoring twice in the first period.
From then on in, Canada never looked in danger of surrendering their lead and there were jubilant scenes at the end as the country celebrated its eighth gold of the Games.
Canada's men's team are in semi-final action on Friday.
Making the success all the sweeter was the fact that the USA had beaten Canada in the last two World Championship finals.
"It feels unbelievable, I can't really put it into words, it hasn't sunk in yet," goalkeeper Shannon Szabados said following her 28-save shutout.
"I would be just as happy right now if we won the game 9-8."
Earlier Koralina Rantamaki's overtime goal gave Finland the bronze medal after a 3-2 victory over Sweden.
After Heidi Pelttari fired Finland ahead, Maria Rooth levelled for the Swedes before Michelle Karvinen restored the Finns' lead in a busy second period.
Danijela Rundqvist scored in the third period to bring Sweden level but Rantamaki had the last word, tucking home from close range two minutes and 33 seconds into overtime.
Canada also remains on course for curling golds after both their men and women's teams moved into the finals.
The women, skipped by Cheryl Bernard, edged out Switzerland 6-5 in their semi-final to set up a Friday showdown with Sweden, who beat China 9-4.
"It was a tight game," Bernard said. "It was probably not my most stellar game. It seemed the stress crept in finally.
"We need to realise there's still more work to do. We can't sit back and say that's good enough, because it's not."
Kevin Martin's team later defeated Sweden 6-3 to set up a final on Saturday with Norway, 7-5 winners over Switzerland.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kim Yu-Na claimed Olympic gold in the ladies' figure skating following a flawless performance.
Yu-Na took a big lead from Tuesday's short program into the free and extended her advantage after a perfect four-minute performance for a world record total of 228.56.
Japan's Mao Asada took silver with 205.50, but the night belonged to Canada's Joannie Rochette who won bronze less than a week after the death of her mother.
Rochette recovered after an early slip to total 202.64 and could barely hold back tears as the Pacific Coliseum rose to acknowledge her bravery.
Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane claimed gold and silver for the USA in the Nordic combined individual event.
The bronze medal went to Austrian Bernhard Gruber, who led after the ski jumping phase but was overhauled by the American pair on the 10km cross country run.
Belarus picked up its first gold medal of the Games at Cypress Mountain when Alexei Grishin won freestyle skiing's men's aerials event.
Grishin took gold with a combined score of 248.41 from Jeret Peterson of the USA (247.21) and China's Zhongqing Liu (242.53).
Canada's Kyle Nissen had led the 12-man event by more than six points after the first jump but mistimed his landing with the final second jump of the night and had to settle for fifth place.