Hockey Alumnae Square off for Gold

Published by Kate Leist on February 24, 2010 at 10:10PM

All five of Harvard’s 2010 Olympians will be playing for gold on Thursday.

Only two teams remain in contention for Vancouver’s top prize, and as predicted, the two-time defending world champion American squad will take on the favored Canadians in the gold-medal game.

As has become the norm in this Olympic tournament, Crimson alumnae featured prominently in both of yesterday’s semifinal wins.

In the early game, the US squad took on Sweden with revenge on its mind. The Swedes shocked the Americans in the 2006 Olympic semifinals, charging back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game in a shootout. It was the first time a US or Canadian squad had ever fallen to a non-North American opponent in international competition.

In 2010, the American women guaranteed that they would improve on their bronze-medal finish in Torino, routing Sweden, 9-1. With Swedish netminder Kim Martin, who plays for Minnesota-Duluth, not on her game, the door was open for the US offense—and the Americans capitalized.

Monique Lamoureux, who will suit up for the University of North Dakota next year, tallied a hat trick while all three Harvard players got in on the fun.

Caitlin Cahow ’07-’08 led the way with a goal—a long shot from the point that banked off the top right corner of the cage and fell in—and an assist. Angela Ruggiero ’02-’04 tallied the team’s third goal, while Julie Chu ’06-’07 assisted on Kelli Stack’s third-period score.

In the nightcap, the vaunted Canadian offense hit a bit of a roadblock: Finnish goaltender Noora Raty, who excelled in the crease for the University of Minnesota this season before joining her national team.

Raty held the Canadians to five goals on 50 shots, but Finland’s offense offered the standout no support, and the hometown favorites advanced to the final with a 5-0 win.

Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-’09 assisted on Haley Irwin’s goal, with the other assist credited to star Cornell forward Rebecca Johnston. Jennifer Botterill ’02-’03 was again quiet—the veteran has just one assist in these Olympics—but she will have the chance to earn her third-consecutive gold medal later this week.

The US and Canada will face off for Vancouver’s top prize at 6:30 pm EST on Thursday. The game will be broadcast live on MSNBC and