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U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team Wins Bronze Medal

By, 02/20/06, 8:30AM MST


TORINO, Italy --  Riding a hat trick by three-time Olympian Katie King (Salem,N.H.) and a shutout by goaltender Chanda Gunn (Huntington Beach, Calif.), the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team claimed a 4-0 win over Finland in front of 5,150 fans in the bronze medal game of the XX Olympic Winter Games.

The United States Women’s Team has medaled in every Olympic competition since women’s ice hockey was added as an Olympic sport in 1998. The team won gold in 1998, silver in 2002 and bronze in 2006.

“I am proud of our team which rallied for the bronze medal,”said Head Coach Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.). "We played with good spirit, speed and emotion. We were up and down the rink all night long.”

With Team USA on the power play at 2:32 of the first period, Julie Chu (Fairfield, Conn.) took a feed from Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) at the top of the left face-off circle and rifled a shot that was tipped in by Kelly Stephens (Seattle, Wash.). Katie King made it 2-0 in favor of the USA when she took a pass from Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) at the blueline,carried it across the front of the net and tapped it just inside the left post. King struck again less than three minutes later when she took a pass from Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.) at the U.S. blue line and skated in alone before lifting a shot to the high, near-side corner.

At 1:44 of the second, Katie King completed her hat trick when she took a cross-ice pass down low from Chu and tucked it just under the crossbar.

Katie King’s hat trick was her second in Olympic competition. She also recorded three goals in the USA’s victory over Japan in 1998. King announced to reporters post-game that she is retiring from competitive play. She has played in 210 games in a USAjersey recording 265 points (146-119).

“It was a great way to go out for Katie,” said Smith, “She has been one of the top players in our program since 1996.”