'This is redemption': Canada celebrates winning women's hockey gold with victory over Team USA

    Team Canada celebrates its win over Team USA in the women's ice hockey gold medal match.

    (CNN)"This is redemption."

    Four years ago, it was heartbreak for Canada's women's ice hockey team. The team lost to their oldest rival, Team USA, in a penalty shootout in the gold medal match at PyeongChang 2018, ending their winning streak of four consecutive Winter Games gold medals.
    But in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Games, they finally had their opportunity to make amends, and they seized the moment.
      It was nervy and exciting, but finally Canada held on to secure a 3-2 victory in the final as they saw a 3-0 lead evaporate under late pressure from Team USA.
        As the final buzzer sounded, Canadian players erupted into cheers of celebration, some broke into tears and bundled together into a group hug.
        "It's just so good. It's a great feeling," Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored two goals in the final, said. "It was one hell of an effort. This is redemption."
        (Left to right) Sarah Fillier, Jill Saulnier, Renata Fast and Melodie Daoust celebrate with their gold medals after beating Team USA.

        Ticking down

          Not that they needed the extra motivation, but Canada women's ice hockey general manager Gina Kingsbury had an innovative way to help her players build up to the 2022 Winter Games.
          Kingsbury, a two-time Olympic champion as a player, gave each member of the Canadian women's team a clock which counted down the days and hours to the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony after Canada finished third in the 2019 World Championships.
          The clock's purpose was to focus the Canadian players, and it came particularly in handy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
          "We had a team slogan that was called 'Impact the Red,'" Canada's Natalie Spooner said. "Obviously, we couldn't be together as a team every single day, but it was impacting those days when we weren't able to be together, making sure we were improving as individuals and as a team also.
          "We were looking at that clock all the time. We had it in our houses, and even through Covid, we obviously weren't able to be together for a lot of that time.
          "So we had that clock there to make sure we did our own work on those off days to make sure we were ready when we came back as a team.
          "It (the clock) had how many days, hours, minutes, seconds until the Opening Ceremony on it."
          Canada's players rush onto the ice in celebration after beating Team USA in the women's ice hockey gold medal match.
          Each player kept their clock in their own unique locations -- Spooner says she kept hers in the kitchen -- and Poulin says she'll display the clock alongside her gold medal from Beijing.
          And the Canadian players aren't ruling out resetting the clock for Cortina in 2026.