After a 14 day boycott, players on the United States women’s hockey team settled with USA Hockey just days before the IIHF Women’s World Championships were set to begin. The exact terms unknown but better pay, training support and improvements in marketing were included in the settlement.
Kicking off with a noon game pitting the Czech Republic against Switzerland Friday March 31, 2017, but the main event was team USA’s first game at 7:30 p.m. against long standing rival team Canada.
Scoreless after the first period, both teams held tough and Canada nearly scored but it rang off the post. Shift after shift, it seemed equally matched and visions of a shootout came closer as time in the second wound down.
In front of a sold out, electrified crowd, team USA’s Briana Decker was able to break through off of a pass by Megan Bozek, who had done most of the work streaking down the right wing and wrapping around the goal. Chants of “USA, USA” rang out from the fans, a large majority young girls who play the game themselves.
Down 1-0 going into the third, team Canada came out strong and fast but unable to connect. Despite being hosted in the U.S. the crowd was a pretty even split between those cheering for team Canada and those here for team USA. Cleaning up a loose puck, Gigi Marvin grabbed an insurance goal for the United States and the crowd went bananas once again.
Backstopping the U.S. to their opening 2-0 victory was goalie, Nicole Hensley who stopped all 18 of team Canada’s shots. This game alone, showed the world what women’s hockey is like, end-to-end fast hockey with very little stopping.
After two days of play team USA holds a 2-0 record, having also defeated team Russia 7-0.