Who is Marie-Philip Poulin?
Dubbed “The Slayer of the United States” by NBC’s Pierre McGuire in 2014, Marie-Philip Poulin has been deadly in Olympic gold medal games against the U.S. Of the five Canada goals scored over the course of two gold-medal-winning Olympic finals, four were fired from the blade of Poulin’s hockey stick.
Like many of her contemporaries, Poulin was on the ice in skates at a very young age. But her first skates at four years old had a toe pick. Poulin may have started in figure skates, but after a year she asked to switch to hockey, wanting to be just like her brother.
When she was 11 years old, she watched as the Canadian women won Olympic gold at the Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. The Canadian gold medal win brought her mom to tears, and for Marie-Philip, served as the spark for her own Olympic dream.
Since making her debut with the Canadian women’s national team in 2009, Poulin has played in seven World Championship tournaments – leaving with silver in six, while winning gold once.
Poulin first caught the attention of the hockey world with her play in junior competitions. Her offensive impact would earn her the moniker, “the female Sidney Crosby” in Canada, a comparison she has yet to become comfortable having linked to her name.
She solidified her status as Canada’s most dangerous women’s hockey weapon when she scored the only goals in the 2-0 gold medal game against the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. After that game, NCAA recruiters were began calling.
Although she is best known for her lively shot, Poulin has also received adoration for her defensive play, named Hockey East “Best Defensive Forward” in her senior season at Boston University. Her coach at BU, Brian Derocher, told USA Today he once saw Poulin willfully block a shot against Minnesota that “would have torn the kneecap off of most people.”
Playing NCAA hockey for the Boston University Terriers from 2010-2015, and serving as team captain for two seasons, Poulin ended her career in the school record books for all-time goals, assists and points.
"I get shy. Every time someone talks to me about it, I don't know what to say, but it's always an honor."
In two appearances on Olympic ice, Poulin has proven her ilk under hockey’s brightest spotlight. The 18-year-old Poulin was the youngest member of the 2010 Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team, where she scored five goals and two assists, and made her country’s pride swell with a two-goal effort to win gold.
Four years later Poulin would score two more in the Olympic final to cap an incredible comeback by Team Canada in the gold medal game, again, at the expense of the U.S. With the clock winding down in the third period, Poulin put the puck past Team USA goalie Jessie Vetter with 55 seconds remaining, forcing overtime. With one Canadian and two U.S. skaters in the box, the puck cycled to Poulin standing in the slot on the 4-on-3. With a flick of her stick, gold was Canada’s for the fourth Olympic Games in a row.
Get ready for women's hockey at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games
Learn more about the best women's hockey players in the world.