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USA goaltender Maddie Rooney made ‘subsequent time’ into this time

By Greg Wyshynski | Feb 22, 2018ESPN.comJocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando had little question that their crew would be capable...


By Greg Wyshynski | Feb 22, 2018
ESPN.com

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando had little question that their crew would be capable of come out with a win vs. Canada within the finals.

Srdjan Suki/EPA

Maddie Rooney stopped 29 of 31 pictures in regulation additional time. But it surely was within the shootout she withstood shot after shot in opposition to a number of the greatest gamers on the earth.

Maddie Rooney had confronted Canada’s Meghan Agosta earlier in Group USA’s gold-medal shootout in opposition to their archrivals in Pyeongchang on Thursday. One of the vital achieved ladies’s gamers on the earth, Agosta scored with ease.

The second time Rooney ready to cease Agosta’s shot, she knew that she was one save from profitable a championship for her nation.

“I simply took every participant one after the other,” mentioned Rooney, 20. “When it got here down to 1 shooter to win it, I simply mentioned, ‘It is yet another save, after which it is a gold medal.'”

Agosta skated in. She drew the puck again, then made a transfer, attempting to attract open Rooney’s pads. She did not budge. Rooney made the save, then reached again to swipe the puck away from her crease and fully out of hazard. She leapt within the air, hurled her stick and ran on her skates to be mobbed by her teammates.

She made yet another save, and it sealed the gold medal for Group USA.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber informed Rooney she would begin the gold-medal sport earlier than Group USA’s semifinal in opposition to Finland, in opposition to whom Rooney had a 14-save shutout. Stauber, who performed 62 video games within the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres, picked her not solely due to her resilience but in addition as a result of her analytical thoughts was made for stress conditions like an additional time shootout.

“She trusts that hockey IQ, and she or he’s prepared to determine issues out on her personal. That is actually uncommon,” he informed the Star Tribune in December. “She understands the sport, and she or he understands shooters. To have the ability to learn the physique language, learn the stick, learn the shot after which decide, there is no substitute for a way helpful that’s.”

Rooney started honing these abilities at 9 years outdated, when she caught the goaltending bug rising up in Andover, Minnesota. She performed on boys’ groups till she reached Andover Excessive Faculty, the place she performed two seasons with the women’ crew. However Rooney felt that with a purpose to be able to play for the College of Minnesota-Duluth, the place she dedicated, it was crucial that she to swimsuit up in opposition to male gamers once more as a senior. Rooney had a 2.84 goals-against common and a .910 save proportion in 25 video games with the Andover Excessive Faculty boys’ crew.

She starred in school, particularly in her 2016-17 season, when Rooney stopped the second-most saves in a single season with 1,013 in 37 video games and had the fourth-highest save proportion at school historical past at .942. (Satirically, Laura Schuler, Minnesota-Duluth’s chief recruiter on the time, coached Group Canada in Pyeongchang.)

Rooney joined the U.S. nationwide crew in 2017, and that is when her clashes with Canada started. Earlier than the Olympics, Rooney confronted Canada 5 occasions and received 3 times. Her two losses? They got here in additional time.

A kind of losses was on the Time Is Now Tour between Group USA and Canada in St. Paul in December. The profitable shot was scored by Brianne Jenner in additional time, and Rebecca Johnston assisted. “I feel [we had] a few of these probabilities that we simply could not capitalize on,” Rooney mentioned after the sport, “however we’ll get them subsequent time.”

These phrases proved prophetic. Jenner, whose aim defeated her? Rooney made a diving stick save within the gold-medal sport to rob her. Johnston, who assisted on that aim? Rooney made an unimaginable save on her in additional time, on a shot the place Johnston started celebrating a Canadian win prematurely.

She acquired them subsequent time.

Rooney additionally made a save within the shootout on Marie-Philip Poulin, the Canadian hockey legend who had the profitable objectives in Canada’s two earlier gold-medal wins over the People and had crushed her earlier within the sport. Rooney positioned herself effectively and stoned Poulin, stunning the gang.

Then she acquired Agosta. Minutes later, the U.S. gamers had been getting their gold medals.

“[The key was] simply to remain calm,” Rooney mentioned. “No matter occurs, occurs. Focus in your sport. In the event that they rating, bounce again.”

The People bounced again from their preliminary loss to their archrivals to win their first gold medal since ladies’s hockey was launched within the Video games in 1998. In doing so, the Olympic highlight swung to concentrate on Rooney as she grew to become the most recent in a single day sensation created by this singular occasion.

The U.S. males’s crew failed to succeed in the medal spherical because the Nationwide Hockey League’s stars sat Pyeongchang out. This gold-medal victory by the U.S. has the complete, unfettered consideration of the sports activities world, and Rooney rightfully instructions a lot of it.

“My crew made it simple for me again there,” she mentioned, a gold medal hanging round her neck.

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