Vinalhaven resident Caitlin Cahow and the United States women’s ice hockey team were one game from tasting Olympic gold. However, that satisfying experience never materialized.

The United States, one of the favorites to win the gold medal heading into this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, had proven it deserved that distinction with the way the Americans cut through the competition and into the gold medal game against Canada Thursday night.

However, the U.S. ran into Canada on its home ice in Vancouver in Thursday’s gold medal game, and were forced to watch the hosts celebrate as Canada had two first-period goals from Marie Philip Paulin and went on to win the gold medal with a 2-0 victory.

The United States defeated China 12-1, the Russian Federation 13-0 and Finland 6-0 in the preliminary rounds and beat Finland 9-1 in the semifinal round to advance to the gold medal game.

Canada defeated Slovakia 18-0, Switzerland 10-1 and Sweden 13-1 in the preliminary rounds and beat Finland 5-0 in the semifinal round to advance to the gold medal game.

The U.S. had outscored foes 40-2 in four games heading into Thursday’s final, while Canada had been equally has tough, beating opponents 46-2 in their four contests heading into Thursday.

Cahow, one of the top defensemen for Team USA, scored two goals in this year’s Winter Olympics. She netted a power-play goal in the first period against the Russian Federation in the preliminary round, and another in the second period in their semifinal victory over Finland.

This was Cahow’s second tour with the Olympic team, as she was a member of the 2006 Olympic hockey team that brought home the bronze medal from Turin, Italy.

Cahow has also been a member of the USA World Championship teams the past two years and won the silver medal in 2007. She has also been a member of the 4 Nations Cup teams, which won gold in 2008 and silver in 2005 through 2007 and again this year.

Cahow was also a first-team All-American during her time at Harvard University, where she not only graduated in 2008 with a degree in anthropology, but was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the nation’s top women’s hockey player.

Cahow is originally from Brandford, Conn. but now calls Vinalhaven home along with her father Joe Adams and mother Barbara Kinder.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.