(Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Canada women’s ice hockey withstood a late rally from the United States on Thursday night to defeat their rivals, 3-2, and win their fifth Olympic gold medal in Beijing. Canada avenged its loss from four years ago, when Team USA won gold in PyeongChang for its first Olympic victory since 1998.

Sarah Nurse got Canada on the board first, sliding a shot past U.S. goalkeeper Alex Cavallini at the 7:50 mark in the opening period. Nurse’s goal came 54 seconds after officials called back Natalie Spooner’s goal for offside, following U.S. coach Joel Johnson’s challenge.

Marie-Philip Poulin added to Canada’s first-period onslaught, lifting a shot over Cavallini’s shoulder to put Canada up 2-0 with 4:58 left in the period.

The Americans matched Canada’s 11 shots on goal in the opening period but were unable to convert, marking the fourth straight game the U.S. failed to score in the first.

In the second period, Canada continued its charged toward gold, with Poulin tapping in a deflected shot to extend the lead to 3-0 at 10:52.

With her two goals Thursday night, the Canadian captain became the only hockey player to score in four Olympic gold-medal games. Nurse also passed Hayley Wickenheiser for the most points scored in a single Olympics with 18.

Team USA, however, did not go down without a fight. Hilary Knight, playing in her USA hockey record 22nd Olympic game, scored a short-handed goal to cut Canada’s lead to 3-1 heading into the third period.

The U.S. pulled Cavallini with over three minutes remaining in the game in attempt to claw back and force overtime. With Team USA playing 6-on-4 after Poulin was called for tripping, Amanda Kessel scored off of a rebound to make it 3-2. But with 12.5 seconds remaining on the clock, there wasn’t enough time left for the U.S. to mount a full comeback.

Canada set an Olympic record with 57 goals scored during the Beijing tournament. Canadian forward Brianne Jenner was named tournament MVP after recording nine goals and five assists, including one in the gold-medal game, for 14 points.