PEARL RIVER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a collective groan at St. Margaret’s School on Thursday as Canada defeated the United States in the women’s hockey gold-medal round at the Winter Olympics.
As the heartbroken Americans skated off with the silver medal, Shane Lynch, a fourth-grader at the Pearl River school, was proud of not only his country, but his school, too.
One of Team USA’s player, Josephine Pucci, attended St. Margaret’s.
“It’s cool,” Shane told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
“It’s exciting, and it’s just great to have someone, an Olympian, be at your school,” added fifth-grader Oisin O’Malley.
Students gathered in the school’s gym to watch the game — a 3-2 victory for Canada in Sochi, Russia — on a large screen.
The kids chanted, “USA! USA!” and wore their red, white and blue T-shirts. When the Americans scored a goal to go up 2-0, students jumped up off their blankets.
Fifth-grader Zoe Carter said she remembers Pucci visiting the school and telling students to persevere.
The message she said the defenseman taught them: “Even if you don’t succeed at first, you’ll succeed in the future.”
Eighth-grader A.J. Tobin said Pucci sets a good example.
“Hard work, discipline and a lot of training,” he said.
Monsignor Jack O’Keefe recalled the time Pucci broke her ankle in the eighth grade. “And she’s coming out of church, and she put the cast on the banister and slid down the whole staircase,” he said.
Principal Carolyn Slattery said despite the defeat, Pucci helped create a memorable day at her old school.
“This has been just a wonderful, energizing experience, something that none of us will ever forget,” Slattery said.
Pucci, 23, went on to graduate from the Choate Rosemary Hall school in Wallingford, Conn., and then play for the Harvard Crimson.
Canada rallied from a two-goal deficit to force overtime. Marie-Philip Poulin, who tied the game in regulation, scored the game-winning goal in the extra period.
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