BU Student Marie-Philip Poulin Strikes Gold for Canada

Video: BU Hockey Coach Reacts

By Andre Khatchaturian
BU News Service

Coming through in the clutch on the biggest international stage is nothing new for Boston University women’s hockey star Marie-Philip Poulin.

On Thursday night in Sochi, Poulin was the hero again. She scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in Canada’s thrilling come-from-behind victory in the gold medal game against the United States to bring the gold back to Canada for the fourth consecutive Olympics.

The Canadians were losing 2-0 with under four minutes to play in regulation when Brianne Jenner of Canada scored a goal to give Canada life. Then, with just 54 seconds left in the third, Poulin cashed in on a pass from behind the net to even up the score and send the Canada bench into a frenzy. Poulin was rushing toward the net when she received the pass, which was deflected by American goaltender Jessie Vetter. She took the puck on her backhand, then quickly switched to her forehand to beat Vetter.

In overtime, Poulin ripped a one-timer from the slot past Vetter just as Canada’s powerplay was expiring to end the game and the United States’ chances of ending a 16-year gold medal drought.

These two goals marked Poulin’s third and fourth goals in her career in gold medal games. In Vancouver when she was only 18, the young phenom scored the only two goals in Canada’s victory over the United States.

Poulin is now a seasoned veteran on the Canadian team who is also a senior at Boston University. She has not played for the women’s team this year because of her Olympic commitment. Last season, she scored 19 goals and 36 assists for the Terriers.

After a scoreless and physical first period, the United States scored two goals in the second period from Meghan Duggan and Alexandra Carpenter to take a 2-0 lead. Then, with a 2-1 lead and with the Canadian goalie pulled from the net for an extra attacker, they hit the post on an empty net opportunity. This could have given the Americans a 3-1 lead and wrapped up the gold medal for the red, white, and blue. But Poulin struck shortly thereafter to send the game into overtime.

Three other former BU hockey players – Jenn Wakefield, Catherine Ward, and Tara Watchorn – were also part of Canada’s team along with Poulin.

Team USA Pounds Slovakia In Men’s Hockey

Bolshoi Ice Dome is the sight of the men's ice hockey gold medal game.

By Andre Khatchaturian
BU News Service

The Miracle on Ice happened 34 years ago, but it’s been a mini-miracle of some sorts that the United States has yet to capture a gold medal in hockey since that glorious week in Lake Placid despite having the luxury of using NHL players – something no one was allowed to do back in 1980.

The U.S. took its first step to erase their gold medal drought after they trounced on Slovakia with six second period goals en route to a 7-1 victory in Sochi. Paul Stastny, whose father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, played extensively for the Czechoslovakian and Slovakian national teams throughout his career and is a actually a member of the European parliament in Slovakia, scored two goals as part of the win.

Team USA only had one tuneup before their first game because of the fact that the entire team is composed of NHL players who had to make the long trip from North America. Perhaps from lack of chemistry or rust, the Americans didn’t get their first goal until 14:27 into the first period when Natick native and current Washington Capital John Carlson ripped a shot past Jaroslav Halak to give the U.S. 1-0 lead.

The Americans had numerous opportunities in the first period, outshooting Slovakia 11-4 but it wasn’t until the second when they broke loose. Tomas Tatar and the Slovakians would answer in the second period to even up the score, but after that it was all Team USA.

Just 58 seconds after Tatar’s goal, Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler received a pass from Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and ripped it past Halak from the slot. From there, the Americans never looked back. About a minute later, Stastny scored his first goal of the game to give the Americans a 3-1 lead.

Stastny’s second goal helped put the Red, White, and Blue up 5-1 and it came on a beautiful cross-ice pass which Stastny buried behind Halak. Halak’s night ended early as he got pulled from the game following that goal. Phil Kessel, David Backes, and Dustin Brown also notched goals and helped show the world that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with this Olympic year.

After Halak was chased out of the game, Peter Budaj allowed two more goals before settling down with a clean third period. In the American net, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick stopped 22 shots, including three from Bruins’ defenseman and Slovakian captain Zdeno Chara, and bounced back well after allowing a goal to Tatar.

The size of the victory puts the Americans at the top of Group A because of a superior goal differential over Russia, who also won in Group A play. Team USA returns to action on Saturday against host country Russia in a highly anticipated matchup at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games At A Glance

Bode Miller going downhill

By Andre Khatchaturian
BU News Service

A lot of the talk leading up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games has been how a $51 billion investment has led to stray dogs running around hotel lobbies in the resort city in southern Russia. Oh yeah, and how visitors shouldn’t throw toilet paper in the toilet.

Well, now that the Opening Ceremonies are here, it’s time to take a quick glance at all of the events that will take place over the next two and a half weeks. There will be 15 different sports featuring a total of 98 different medaled events.

Alpine Skiing:

There will be 10 different events (five for men and five for women) in the alpine skiing discipline. These events consist of the Downhill, Super-G, Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Combined. Austria has historically dominated the discipline, winning 31 gold medals all time. For Team USA, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso are favored to medal. In 2010, Miller notched a gold medal in the Super Combined, a silver in the Super-G, and a bronze in the Downhill.  Meanwhile, Mancuso earned two silvers in the Downhill and Super Combined. Downhill gold medalist Lindsay Vonn will miss the Sochi games due to injury.


Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. There are 11 different events in the biathlon (five for men, five for women, and a mixed relay). Each event has a shooting component paired with a cross-country skiing race with varying lengths (10 km, 12.5, 15, and 20). Historically, Germany has owned the biathlon discipline, earning a total of 43 medals. The United States did not medal in the discipline during the 2010 Vancouver Games.



Led by Stephen Holcomb, the United States struck gold in 2010 in the men’s four-man bobsled event and they’ll look to do so again in Sochi. There will be three events this year – two-man, four-man, and two-woman. The Jamaican bobsled team will make a triumphant return and have 50-1 odds to win gold.

Cross-Country Skiing:

There will be 12 events (six for men, six for women) associated with cross-country skiing in the 2014 Sochi Games. The United States did not medal in any events in Vancouver. In fact, no American has ever struck gold in any cross-country skiing event. Bill Koch is the only American to ever medal in the sport, which has been in the Olympics since 1924. Kikkan Randall of Alaska is looking to change that. She’s a contender for the gold medal in the Women’s Individual and Team Sprints.


The sport that is affectionately known as “Chess on Ice” will make a triumphant return after becoming a fan favorite in the United States during the 2010 Games. Stones will be thrown and swept at the Ice Cube Curling Center for 12 consecutive days starting February 10. The United States finished dead last in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. They will look to change their fortunes this year. John Shuster returns as skip for the men’s team and Erika Brown takes over as skip for the women.

Figure Skating:

Figure Skating will have a team event this year, which combines the individual events (men’s and women’s singles, ice dancing, and pairs). The standard individual events will also take place. For the United States, 2010 silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White return as gold medal contenders in ice dancing. Evan Lysacek, the 2010 men’s singles gold medalist, suffered a labrum injury and will not participate in the Sochi Games. Instead, Jeremy Abbott will try to bring back gold to the U.S.

Freestyle Skiing:

The freestyle skiing discipline will introduce four new events (two for men and two for women) in 2014 – halfpipe and slopestyle. Along with the men’s and women’s aerials, ski cross, and moguls, there will be 10 freestyle skiing events this year. In 2010, the United States earned four medals with the only gold going to Hannah Kearney in the women’s moguls. Kearney returns to defend her gold in Sochi.

Ice Hockey:

For the fifth consecutive Olympics, the NHL will be sending players to participate in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Canada defeated the United States in the 2010 Gold Medal Game in Vancouver after Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner in overtime. Crosby returns to a stacked Canadian lineup to defend their gold. However, the United States, Russia, Sweden, and Finland all have numerous NHLers and are looking to bring home the gold. On the women’s side, Canada looks to continue its world domination by capturing its fourth straight gold. They outscored opponents 41-2 during the 2010 games. Boston University’s Marie-Philip Poulin will play on the team.


For those who don’t know, luge is a small sled on which one sleds (either alone or with someone else) feet first and heads up. There will be four luge events (men’s, women’s, doubles, and team relay) in this year’s Olympics. The United States did not medal in 2010. Germany captured two gold medals.

Nordic Combined:

Nordic Combined is a combination of ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Bill Demong of the United States won the gold medal, ending an 86-year American drought, in the Individual large hill/10 km event back in the Vancouver games. Demong returns to defend his gold medal. Meanwhile, U.S. flag bearer Todd Lodwick will become the first American to participate in six Winter Games. He won a silver medal in the team event in Vancouver.

Short Track Speed Skating:

This is one of the more exciting events in the Winter Olympics. There will be eight events (four for men, four for women) of varying lengths in the discipline. The United States failed to win a gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver games. Apolo Ohno won three medals, though, and became the most decorated American Winter Olympian. However, Ohno, the face of American short track speed skating is now doing Subway commercials and has retired. The Americans will look to JR Celski to return to the top of the mountain in a sport dominated by South Korea.


Skeleton is like luge, except the sledder goes face down. There are two events in the discipline (one for men, one for women). The United States failed to medal during the 2010 Vancouver Games, but leads the all-time medal count with six. Noelle Pikus-Pace will try to get the United States back at the top of the podium.

Ski Jumping:

For the first time ever, women will have their own event in the ski jumping discipline. There will also be three events for the men. Sarah Hendrickson of the United States is one of the favorites to win gold in the women’s event. As for the men, Simon Ammann of Switzerland needs two medals to become the most decorated Olympic ski jumper.


Snowboarding is slowly becoming one of the most popular sports in the Olympic games. There will be 10 events in the discipline (five for men, five for women). Four of the events are new additions (men’s and women’s slopestyle and giant slalom). Of course, for Americans, the biggest headliner is Shaun White, who easily won the gold medal in the halfpipe in 2010. He will return to retain his title in Sochi.

Speed Skating:

There will be 12 events (six for men, six for women) of varying distances in the Speed Skating discipline. The United States had a strong World Cup showing and is expected to bring home plenty of medals. In 2010, Shani Davis struck gold in the 1000m event and will look to defend his title in possibly his last Olympics. Meanwhile, for the women, Heather Richardson will look to bring home the gold for the Americans.