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Thu February 20, 2014
Northwest Claims Another Medal, But It Comes In Heartbreaking Hockey Loss
More Olympic hardware is coming home to the Northwest, but it comes via a heartbreaking loss.
Team Canada beat the U.S women’s ice hockey squad 3-2 Thursday in Sochi. That means the U.S teammates, including Hilary Knight of Sun Valley, receive silver medals.
Disappointment was written in bold on the faces of the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team after Canada scored a tie-breaking goal in sudden death overtime. That became the difference between silver and gold.
The disappointment stretched halfway around the world to a Sun Valley tavern populated with fans and acquaintances of Knight, the American team’s top scorer. Former hockey goalie Cathy Butterfield said everyone locally was pulling for the hometown Olympian and her team.
"It was such a close game and they played so well," Butterfield said. "That last call was a little sketchy. But you know, that’s hockey."
Knight is the second Sun Valley athlete to medal at the Sochi Games. Last week, snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington won gold in the halfpipe.
Pretty good for a valley with a total population under 20,000, says the owner of Grumpy’s Tavern, Pete Prekeges. He says he can make peace with Knight’s silver.
"We’re as proud of her as we are of Kaitlyn. You know, just to be an Olympian, to be one of those top 20 people in your field, I mean, really, it’s pretty amazing,” he said.
On Friday morning, Team USA gets a chance to even the score with Canada. The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team takes on the Canadians in a semi-final game in the same arena.
And again there’s a regional connection. Star U.S. forward T.J. Oshie was raised in Everett, Wash.