To answer the second half of the two-part question posed above, Marie-Philip Poulin is a forward for the Canadian Women’s national hockey team and she was only doing her job. Poulin’s cool snipe, the power play goal that won Thursday’s gold medal game for Team Canada, closed out one of the most shocking comebacks the sport has ever seen.
The Canadians, winners of 19 straight Olympic matches going into this final, trailed the U.S. team 2-0 with less than four minutes to play. Heads down, bent at the knees, they looked resigned to see the streak end and collect their silver medals. The Americans, by contrast, were buzzing, threatening to step on the neck of the game with a third goal, missing out narrowly on at least two occasions in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Their profligacy left the door open for Canada’s Brianne Jenner to, with the help of a fortuitous deflection, beat U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter with 3:36 to play, cutting the lead in half. The U.S. hung tight, but with just under 55 seconds remaining, Poulin swooped in to knot the score at 2. Her tying goal was the third she’s notched against the U.S. in two gold medal games (she scored twice in their 2010 shutout victory) and, though we didn’t know it then, just her second most important of the day.
The Americans’ golden dream is over, and, to borrow a line from “True Detective” philosopher-cop Rust Cohle, “like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.” Marie-Philip Poulin is not a monster, really. She is, by all accounts, a lovely person who apologizes to her opponents after beating them - but she was most definitely the last thing the Americans saw before awakening to the grim reality of another second place finish.
But like Cohle, Poulin has been known to enjoy a cold adult beverage and maybe a smoke, as she was pictured doing both those things, along with a bunch of teammates, on the ice after the Canadians won their 2010 Olympic gold medal. Here’s the Metro.co.uk account from that year (with pics!):
Poulin doesn’t turn 19 until next month, when she’ll be of legal drinking age in British Columbia. The drinking age in Alberta, where the Canadian team trains, is 18. Photos show Poulin on the ice, with a beer in her hand.
The beer was, naturally, a Molson. The cigar was not lit, at least not in front of a camera.
The Quebec-born (now) 22-year-old survived the celebration scandal — her “favourite motto,” per the Canadian team’s official website, is “Fall seven times, get up eight” — and went on to win two NCAA championships at Boston University. Poulin led the Terriers to their third title in four years at the 2013 Frozen Four. A prolific scorer, she has amassed 54 goals and 127 points in just 79 games for BU over the past three seasons.
For more on how the American-slaying ice warrior is enjoying her second Olympic gold medal, follow her on Twitter, where she frequently updates fans and other interested parties on her life and the comings and goings of other Canadian hockey stars — among them, fellow Beauceville, Quebec, native Stephane Veilleux, a member of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.