Two hundred and six seconds.
That’s how close Meghan Duggan and the members of the United States women’s Olympic hockey team were from capturing everlasting glory and reaching their ultimate dream during yesterday’s gold medal match against their archrivals from Canada in Sochi, Russia.
Duggan, the team captain from Danvers, had scored her first goal of the tournament in the second period, giving the Americans a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes. Another North Shore native, Alex Carpenter of North Reading, doubled that lead early in the third period with a goal of her own.
That two-goal lead held up for much of the third period — but the Canadians never stopped working to erase that deficit. Miraculously, they did so with two goals in the final 3:26 of regulation, then the game-winner on the power play in sudden death overtime to stun the U.S. women, 3-2, before a crowd of 10,369 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Interviewed after the game by NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire, Duggan tried to put what happened into words.
“We had them at the end, up two goals and under five minutes to play,” said Duggan. “They just pressured us hard. Couple of bounces went their way and they tied it up.”
The 26-year-old Duggan, a right wing, scored on her only shot of the game yesterday, coming 11:57 into the second period. Coming into the Canadian zone, she picked up a drop pass from linemate Jocelyne Lamoureux near the left circle and fired a wrist shot that goaltender Shannon Szabados couldn’t get to. It found the top corner of the twine and gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
In five Olympic games, the 5-foot-8 Duggan finished with one goal and one assist, took one 2-minute penalty, had 11 shots on goal and finished a plus-2.