February 21, 2002

Canadian women defeat Americans in Ice Hockey: despite having 13 penalties called by an American referee. Canadian girls apparently kick ass even while shorthanded.

posted by srboisvert to other at 08:46 PM - 13 comments

First off, why would they ever allow the ref to be from one of the competing nations in a gold medal match? Secondly, how can anyone explain a team that going into the game was the least penalized team in the tourney suddenly getting so many penalties?

posted by srboisvert at 08:47 PM on February 21, 2002

There were a lot of bad calls tonight. I was watching (and cheering!) on the CBC, as even our commentators pointed out that the Americans got a couple of unjustified penalties. But most people I hear from, including some Americans, thought Canada got some bogus calls. I expected rougher play tonight: gold medal game between bitter rivals? Damn straight things were going to be a little more intense. Referee calls in the kind of full-contact play you get in Europe and the NHL are going to be somewhat subjective even under the best circumstances. The no-contact rule in women's hockey makes things worse as this leaves even more leeway for some subconscious bias. These players are so obviously not made of spun sugar: let them play freely. Anyway, props to the American team. They're a fierce bunch and they didn't give up -- I was *not* breathing easily in the final minutes -- and from what I hear, a lot of them were sick with the flu this week and had even been on IV fluids. On to the next match!

posted by maudlin at 08:56 PM on February 21, 2002

I arrived home late for the game and missed the first 10 minutes. When the ref started calling the "suspicious" penalties, I turned to my wife and said "Jeez. She's calling them like she was an American or something." Imagine my surprise when I found out seconds later that she WAS an American. It is completely insane to allow a referee from one of the competing nations to be in the gold medal game, especially when that nation is also HOSTING the Olympics. Why even give someone the chance to cry foul? I should also point out that the calls on the Americans were just as bogus. Calling a charging penalty on a player while they are carrying the puck? It was so obviously a "even-up" penalty. Clearly the referee was overwhelmed with the enormity of the game and shouldn't have been given the position. If I was in charge of the IIHF/IOC, I'd be firing the director of officiating for setting up such a potential fiasco. BTW...Yay Canada! Woooo!

posted by grum@work at 09:09 PM on February 21, 2002

The referee was completely horrendous. Absolutely lousy calls against both the US and Canada... although Canada got the vast brunt of it. and as already mentioned, why was the referee American? Is there a shortage of qualified international women's referees? (I doubt it) Because this one surely didn't seem qualified.

posted by mkn at 09:13 PM on February 21, 2002

The announcers forgot to mention that the American referee just called a "too many women on the ice" penalty against the Canadians during the medal ceremony.

posted by grum@work at 09:24 PM on February 21, 2002

Even though the score was 3-2, it seemed through my untrained eyes that the American team was completely outclassed. It seemed sometime the Americans had trouble even getting the puck out of their end during their own power play.

posted by gyc at 10:07 PM on February 21, 2002

Proud to be Canadian tonight, really proud.

posted by dai at 10:16 PM on February 21, 2002

I agree gyc. The American team was completely outplayed. The Canadians were by far faster and swarmed on defense. The American passes were sloppy and their cycling was ridiculously poor. As much as I would've loved to see the US team get the gold, the Canadian team outplayed them from the start. The US team looked sloppy and uncoordinated. Congrats to both the Canadian and US teams. It most certainly made for a fun night of hockey.

posted by ttrendel at 12:47 AM on February 22, 2002

Cassie Campbell on the ref: "That was the worst refereeing I've ever seen in female hockey" - Globe

posted by scottp at 05:20 AM on February 22, 2002

I hate to say this, but I'm glad that the Americans didn't win. Granted, the penalties were ridiculous on both sides, but I would have felt terrible (as an American) if the U.S. women had scored enough goals to win on undeserved power-plays. I think the international press would have gone to town on it, too.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:59 AM on February 22, 2002

Toronto Star Amazingly, U.S. coach Ben Smith said all the calls against Canada may not have been to the advantage of his team even though both goals the U.S. did score came on the power play. "Actually, we got too many power plays," said Smith. "We had a lot of pressure to score."

posted by srboisvert at 09:42 AM on February 22, 2002

Explanation of why the officiating was so bad.

posted by Succa at 12:35 PM on February 22, 2002

The Canadians played the US team off the ice last night, basically defending from the opposing goal line, and attacking with a lot of panache. The less said about the officiating, the better. But here's the thing: how long before at least some kind of checking becomes acceptable in women's ice hockey? As maudlin suggests, it's not as if the players aren't tough enough, as long as there's proper protection from the women in black and white.

posted by riviera at 01:13 PM on February 22, 2002

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