Women's hockey gold creates more buzz than men's semi-final win at Sochi Olympics
Canada's Catherine Ward, left, and Marie-Philip Poulin show off their gold medal after after beating the USA 3-2 in overtime to win the gold medal in the women's hockey final at the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday, February 21, 2014 in Sochi. (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Saturday, February 22, 2014 10:12AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 22, 2014 1:43PM EST
Four years after defeating the United States in both the men’s and women’s hockey finals at the Vancouver Olympics, Canada has once again proven itself as the dominant hockey nation with two big victories against our southern neighbours this week.
But while the online world was abuzz following news Friday that Canada’s men’s team will advance to the final round on Sunday to battle the Swedes for gold, it turns out that more people had taken to social media on Feb. 20 to mention the women’s team claiming Olympic hockey gold, according to analysis by social media management tool HootSuite.
The women’s gold-medal game, which ended with Marie-Philip Poulin scoring the winning goal against Team USA in overtime, received more than 121,000 mentions on social media, whereas the men’s semi-final game received about 109,000 mentions.
And the most talked about Canadian female hockey player? Goaltender Shannon Szabados, who was mentioned 2,598 times on social media, according to the HootSuite analysis. U.S. forward Hilary Knight, however, gained more attention, with 7,063 mentions.
And while the women’s team collectively garnered more online buzz, it turns out the men’s players appear to be more popular as individuals – likely due to their NHL fame long established before Sochi.
Canadian goalie Carey Price-- who was praised for being cool-as-a-cucumber, blocking all shots from the U.S. in the semi-final-- was mentioned more than 25,000 times on social media. And Team Canada’s Jamie Benn, who scored the game-winning goal, was mentioned more than 12,000 times. Both players are still trending on Google, receiving more than 50,000 Google searches in recent days.
Also interesting is that while Canada may pride itself as a hockey nation, the United States had more hockey fans talking about the sport online than Canada.
Out of a total of 842,369 Olympic hockey mentions on social media, only 20 per cent of hockey mentions were in Canada, while 52 per cent of hockey mentions were in the United States, according to the HootSuite analysis.
Here’s a breakdown of where people mentioned hockey on social media:
Ontario: 52 per cent; Alberta: 13 per cent; British Columbia: 13 per cent; Quebec: 8 per cent; Manitoba: 4 per cent.
California: 12 percent; New York: 8 per cent; Texas: 6 per cent; Illinois: 6 per cent; Pennsylvania: 5 per cent.
And after Canada and the United States, hockey was most popular in Russia, followed by the United Kingdom.