Meghan Agosta already eyeing 2022 after Olympic gold loss

Canadian women's hockey star reflects on silver finish in PyeongChang

It’s something she’s practiced countless times. So, as Meghan Agosta stood at centre ice in the final game in PyeongChang with the chance to extend the shootout — and Canada’s chance at a fifth consecutive gold medal — she had just one thought: “I got this.”

Agosta, who is also a constable with the Vancouver Police Department, had already scored on U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney earlier in the shootout and, with the American squad up 3-2, she had to score again to keep Canada’s hopes of another gold medal alive.

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Agosta said she had initially planned to go top shelf again with her second shot.

“But when I went down that shot wasn’t there,” she explained. “I went five-hole. It was open but it wasn’t open enough.”

Rooney stopped Agosta’s shot, giving the United States its first gold medal in women’s Olympic hockey in 20 years.

After the medals were handed out, the flags raised and the anthem sung, Agosta was one of the last players to make it through the mixed zone, where media wait to interview athletes, and back into the dressing room.

“When I walked in, it was silent,” she told the Courier over the phone Tuesday. Some of her teammates were crying.

Agosta put down her stick, took off her gloves and went around the room giving every one of her teammates a hug.

As a veteran player on the team and one of the assistant captains at the Olympics, Agosta had taken on a leadership role in the dressing room. After the disappointing loss she said she told her team that there is no shame in silver: “Ladies, we need to be very proud of ourselves.”

Agosta was just 18 when she first made Team Canada. “It was almost like a dream come true.”

She identified her dream early on. At just six years old she told her parents that she wanted to play hockey for Canada, and she worked hard to make her dream a reality – even missing her high school prom because she was playing.

“I was so devoted,” she said. “I just wanted to do everything I could. I just worked so hard.”

Agosta made her first appearance at the Olympics in 2006, winning gold in Torino. She won gold again with the team in Vancouver in 2010, where she was also named MVP, and Sochi in 2014.

She took a break from the team following the 2014 Games to join the Vancouver Police Department. Agosta said it was challenging to keep her hockey skills up while working full time as a police officer, but she played on the department’s hockey team as well as some other local teams, practicing with the West Valley Hawks.

A year out from the Olympics, things started to ramp up with tournaments and training so Agosta took a leave of absence, without pay, from the force. Last August she moved to Calgary for training and centralization.

Agosta said she would not have been able to do it without a network of support from the department, her friends and family — especially her fiancé Jason Robillard, a fellow Vancouver police officer who is also one of the department’s media relations officers.

Robillard was in PyeongChang along with Agosta’s family to cheer her on.

“I’ve never been more emotionally invested in a game in my life,” he said.

Agosta and her teammates are heading back to Calgary in March for a team debriefing, and she’ll be back on duty in May.

There are many parallels between her roles both on and off the ice.

“For me it’s being part of a team,” she said. “It’s an honour to put on that uniform and that jersey and represent something bigger.”

Agosta, who celebrated her 31st birthday during the Olympics, isn’t done yet. She already has her sights set on the 2022 Games in Beijing.

“I’m just so, so proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished.”

 

jkerr@vancourier.com 

@JessicaEKerr

 


 

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