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Northwest Claims Another Medal, But It Comes In Heartbreaking Hockey Loss

Hilary Knight of Sun Valley

More Olympic hardware is coming home to the Northwest, but it comes via a heartbreaking loss. 

Team Canada beat the U.S women’s ice hockey squad 3-2 Thursday in Sochi. That means the U.S teammates - including Hilary Knight of Sun Valley - receive silver medals.

Disappointment was written in bold on the faces of the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team after Canada scored a tie-breaking goal in sudden death overtime. That became the difference between silver and gold.

The disappointment stretched halfway around the world to a Sun Valley tavern populated with fans and acquaintances of the American team’s top scorer, Hilary Knight.

Former hockey goalie Cathy Butterfield said everyone locally was pulling for the hometown Olympian and her team.

"It was such a close game and they played so well," Butterfield said. "That last call was a little sketchy. But you know, that’s hockey."

Hilary Knight is the second Sun Valley athlete to medal at the Sochi Games.  Last week, snowboarderKaitlyn Farrington won gold in the halfpipe. 

Pretty good for a valley with a total population under 20,000, said the owner of Grumpy’s Tavern, Pete Prekeges. He said he can make peace with Knight’s silver.

"We’re as proud of her as we are of Kaitlyn. You know, just to be an Olympian, to be one of those top 20 people in your field, I mean, really, it’s pretty amazing."

On Friday morning, Team USA gets a chance to even the score with Canada. The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team takes on the Canadians in a semi-final game in the same arena.

And again there’s a regional connection. Star U.S. forward T.J. Oshie was raised in Everett, Wash.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.