Should important games end in a shootout?

PyeongChang 2018 Olympics: women's ice hockey final, Canada 2 - 3 USA

Wake up folks!

In the wee hours of Thursday morning stateside, the United States Women’s hockey team took home the gold medal.  The ladies defeated rival Canada in a thrilling 3-2 victory that ended in a shootout.  The women from Canada had beaten the United States in gold medal matches in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.  This was long overdue for the United States women, many of whom only know what it is like to put on a silver medal.

The big question here is should games of this magnitude end in a shootout?

After battling through 3 periods and an overtime, is it fair to decide the victor based off a one on one showdown?  One could argue that this really does not prove who the better team is.  It is very sad to see athletes work so hard to eventually be crushed by an event that is by nature not team based at all.  A lot of folks would rather see the game end the way it started and have them play until the deciding goal is scored regardless of length.

A shootout is one of the most pressure filled, exciting things that can happen in sports.  I speak in absolutes a lot but there are few things as dramatic as a shootout.  Hype up said shootout by putting a gold medal on the line and whoaaaa mama.  It stinks that a game of this stature is decided this way but there’s no shortage of excitement for the fans.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson will go down in United States Women Hockey lore for the dangling act she performed on Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados…

T.J. Oshie is still remembered for his epic performance in the 2014 Sochi Olympic games.  I know this was not a gold medal game but it just goes to show the impact a shootout can have on one’s status in U.S. history.

Imagine the hysteria that would have occurred if the 1980 Miracle On Ice had ended with American hero Mike Eruzione scoring the deciding goal in a shootout.  I understand purists point when it comes to playing the game the right way but it is ignorant to deny the pins and needles drama of a shootout.

This does not happen often, nor should it.  I agree that most games should end the way they are played, especially gold medal games.  Do me a favor next time this happens, instead of complaining about how this shouldn’t be how it ends just take it all in.  Enjoy the drama. Go USA!

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