SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 23, 2010

Duggan, Team USA women's hockey hammers Sweden; qualifies for gold medal game

It's now guaranteed that Meghan Duggan and the US Women's Hockey Team will come home from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with medals draped around their necks.

The only thing left to settle is whether they'll be gold or silver.

The pride of Danvers, the 22-year-old Duggan scored her fourth goal of the Olympics — which proved to be the game-winner — as the Americans stormed into the gold medal game by crushing Sweden, 9-1, in the semifinals yesterday at Canada Hockey Place.

"That was an amazing goal by Meghan," said her older brother Bryan, one of many Duggan family members in Vancouver to cheer her on. "The Jumbotron zoomed right in on her face after she scored, and you could see the joy in Meg's face so clearly."

That goal, a rebound coming on the power play in the first period, gave Team USA a 2-0 lead en route to its fourth consecutive blowout victory.

Now, the only thing standing between Duggan, her teammates and the dream they've all been chasing — Olympic gold — are the host Canadian women's team. The two-time defending Olympic champions took care of business in their own semifinal last night, besting Finland, 5-0, to advance to their fourth straight gold medal game.

Thus, the Americans and Canadians will play one game to determine the best women's team in the world Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Vancouver (6:30 p.m. EST).

Bryan Duggan, who was with his sister, the rest of his own family and most of the other US women's team players and their families last night at the Proctor & Gamble House (for U.S. Olympic athletes and their families) to watch the Canada/Finland game, said that Meghan's goal was one she specializes in.

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