13 апреля 2009 года.
Coach takes blame for loss to U.S.; Silver at worlds leaves Canada's Davidson questioning role // "The Ottawa Citizen"
Canada fell to the United States in the
women's world hockey championship Sunday, and then coach Melody
Davidson fell on her proverbial sword.
Davidson took the blame for the 4-1 loss to the Americans and even
suggested that "maybe Hockey Canada needs to look at a change," heading
into the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Davidson was named bench boss for the Vancouver Games last July. She
guided Canada to gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics, as well as at the
2007 world championship. She was also at the helm of the team that lost
to the U.S. in the 2005 world championship.
Canada had been outstanding in its four games here heading into Sunday,
including outlasting the U.S. 2-1 on Friday in a playoff-round game.
But Canada also lost the Four Nations Cup final in November to the
Americans, falling 3-2 in a shootout, after beating them 4-2 in
preliminary-round action at that tournament.
"If we're not going to perform in the final game, that's on my
shoulders," said Davidson, who has been a full-time Hockey Canada
employee since signing a four-year deal in May 2006 that included
general manager duties. "We have to be able to perform.
"I've been appointed to it (the Olympics), but there's no excuses for that performance today.
"Our goal is to be in that gold medal game in Vancouver and to work
hard to bring home gold for Canada. This was a bit of a step back in my
It's hard to guess exactly everything that was going through Davidson's
mind. It could be the result of the pressure to succeed with the
Olympics on home soil.
Or maybe it all was a ploy to take pressure off her charges, many of
whom were part of the Canadian team under coach Peter Smith that lost
4-3 to the U.S. in the world championship final last year in China.
If it was an act, though, it was a good one.
"I hope I coach it," Davidson said of taking the helm in Vancouver,
"but coaching is coaching. You don't perform, you don't go on. You see
that all the time.
"I want to coach this team. I want to be with these players. But since
they made my job full time, we've only won one gold medal and that was
in 2007. We have to look at everything here. If I'm part of that,
Hockey Canada has to make good decisions."
Canada outskated the speedy U.S. for much of Friday's game, but they
looked slow on Sunday and were sloppy with the puck in all three zones.
They gave up a goal on the first shift, with Caitlin Cahow converting
on a 2-on-1 just 24 seconds in, and they never really recovered.
"We were talking the talk, saying that we had to go out and work hard and play to win, but it didn't show in
our actions," said Canadian winger Meaghan Mikkelson. "We didn't
deserve to win that game. We didn't play the way we needed to play, we
didn't come out the way we needed to."
Team captain Hayley Wickenheiser added simply: "We had too many passengers."
Jessie Vetter made 39 saves in the U.S. net, but she was rarely tested
and faced few high-percentage shots. It's the fourth straight start
that she's beaten the Canadians, following the wins at last year's
worlds and the Four Nations final.
"I don't think it mattered who was in the net today; it boiled down to
our play," said Mikkelson, a former teammate of Vetter's at the
University of Wisconsin.
Cahow had two goals for the U.S., while Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight, into an empty net, had the others.
Charline Labonte made 26 saves for Canada. Jennifer Botterill had the
lone Canadian goal, tying things up at 1-1 in the second period.