The United States Women’s Olympic hockey team held a 2-0 lead with 3:26 to go in the third period of their gold medal match against Canada but could not hold on for their first Olympic gold since 1998 as the Canadians battled back to force the game to overtime and score the winning goal in the extra period to win the Olympic gold 3-2.
Captain Megan Duggan and forward Alex Carpenter tallied the two goals for the Americans and goalie Jessie Vetter stopped 28 Canadian shots as the team took home a hard fought silver medal in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
A scoreless first period had the United States up in shots 11-9 but strong goaltending by Vetter and Canada’s Shannon Szabados kept the game at 0-0 through one period of play.
Duggan opened the scoring for the Americans at 11:57 of the second frame, off a neutral zone turnover that teammate Jocelyne Lamoureux dumped into the offensive zone and Duggan picked up the loose puck and stashed it home on a wrister over Szabados’ glove with bodies in front of the net. The goal with 8:03 to play in the first period was Duggan’s first goal of the tournament
The 1-0 score for the United States held through to the second intermission before Carpenter doubled the team’s lead just over two minutes into the third period. On a power play with Canadian Tara Watchorn in the box for tripping, Carpenter fired a one timed shot on Szabados’ doorstep off a nice feed from Hilary Knight from the far left circle. The puck caromed off the pipe and past Sabados for the 2-0 United States lead at 2:01 of the third.
Team Canada got on the scoreboard on Brianne Jenner’s goal for the team with 16:34 gone in the third period to cut the lead to 2-1 after Jenner’s original shot from the middle of the ice bounced off a United States defender and in.
Canada pulled goalie Szabados with 1:35 to play in the game and after the Americans just missed an empty netter that rolled off the pipe and wide, Canada’s Marie-Phillip Poulin tied the game at two-all with 55 seconds to go on a scramble in front of Vetter with the extra-attacker to send the game to overtime.
In the 4-on-4 overtime period, the Canadians took a cross-checking penalty early that put Team USA on a power play, but Jocelyn Lamoureux was called for a slashing call on Szabados after the whistle to put the teams at 3-on-3.
Less than a minute later, Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser broke free from the United States’ defense on the coinciding minors and Knight was forced to take a cross-checking penalty to save a goal that gave the Canadians the power play. On the power play, Poulin won the game for Team Canada off good passing and a wide open net to steal the win from under the Americans on three straight goals.
The United States returns home with a 3-0-1-1 record and a silver medal, with their only losses of the tournament coming to the Canadians.