In front a crowd of young hockey fans and press assembled at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida, the public was introduced to the US Women’s National Team who will represent the country at the upcoming 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea.
Forwards: Meghan Duggan, Kelly Pannek, Brianna Decker, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Hannah Brandt, Hilary Knight, Dani Cameranesi, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Annie Pankowski, Amanda Kessel, and Amanda Pelkey.
Defense: Lee Stecklein, Megan Keller, Kali Flanagan, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Emily Pfalzer, Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin, and Kacey Bellamy.
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby, and Maddie Rooney.
What the United States Women’s National Team has done in the past three weeks is nothing short of remarkable.
It’s only fitting they’d close out the 2017 Women’s World Championship against blood rival Canada by defeating them 3-2 in overtime for the US’s first gold on home soil.
In front of a standing room only crowd in Plymouth, Michigan the US got off to a somewhat sluggish start.
Just over a minute into the first period, the United States experienced only their second deficit of the tournament when Jennifer Wakefield and Meghan Agosta get in on the rush.
Wakefield sends a pass to Agosta who snipes it to give the Canadians a 1-0 lead.
The United States Women’s National Team had barely 48 hours to prepare for the Women’s World Championships after an emotional two and a half weeks that nearly led them boycotting the tournament.
Led by Worlds’ rookie Nicole Hensley in net, the defending champion United States women dispatched of blood rival Team Canada 2-0 in the teams’ opening game of the tournament.
For the first time in pretty much forever, the Canadians are without Hayley Wickenheiser who retired earlier this year.
Shannon Szabados returned to the Canadian National Team for the first time since winning Olympic gold in Sochi. Szabados spent four seasons in the SPHL and took a break from National Team play.
Despite out-shooting Canada 11-5 in the first period, the United States appeared to be shaking off some rust as they returned to form. They weren’t bad, just not as crisp as usual.
The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) entered the negotiations with USA Hockey with demands that hit three broad categories: compensation, PR and marketing, and investment in the girls’ and women’s programs.
We’re thrilled to report they received what they were after in a monumental moment for women’s professional sports. The players end their boycott and will play in the Women’s World Championships starting March 31.
The initial press release said each party would keep the financial details private. Like usual, it was only a matter of time before someone had the scoop.
About 45 minutes after the statement, details of agreement between the players and USA Hockey came out. ESPN’s Johnette Howard of ESPN.com was the first to report on details which include:
Wages, marketing, and program development are all part of the National Team’s demands of USA Hockey. However, their decision to boycott and demand equitable treatment goes far beyond the tangible.
The fight is about a culture change not only in USA Hockey, but in the way women’s sports are viewed as a whole.
It’s difficult to understand a situation when you’re not directly impacted by it. Lucky for us, John Smallwood of Philly.com, has two articles giving his take on the situation with the US Women’s National Team and USA Hockey.
These woefully under-researched, alternative facts-filled columns provides unique insight into what the Women’s Team is facing from an ideological perspective.
It would be too easy to rip Mr. Smallwood a new one by dissecting each post, line by line. (And I don’t feel like having an aneurysm tonight.)
It’s also counterproductive.
The USA Hockey Board of Directors meet today to vote on terms negotiated with the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) in an effort to end the players’ boycott of the Women’s World Championships.
A group of sixteen United States Senators came together to pen a letter to USA Hockey ‘reminding’ the organization not only of their ethical obligations to the USWNT but their legal obligations under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.
The Senators pull zero punches.
Negotiations between USA Hockey and the boycotting US Women’s National Team are still on going after a marathon eight-plus hour in-person session on Monday. The two sides split up to consider what had been discussed.
Training camp for the upcoming Women’s World Championships was set to start on Wednesday; however, USA Hockey was forced to cancel it and an exhibition game against Finland on Friday because they don’t have a team.
On Thursday evening, A.J. Perez of USA Today reported USA Hockey had started to contact players to fill in for the striking USWNT.
Puck Daddy reached out for comment from USA Hockey and received the following statement confirming the report:
Late Friday afternoon, USA Hockey took their negotiations with the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) public releasing a detailed statement regarding demands of the players and what the organization is willing to meet.
“We remain committed to having the players that were selected to represent the U.S. in the upcoming women’s world championship to be the players that are on the ice when the tournament begins,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey via press release.
USA Hockey stated the it would reach out to the attorneys for the USWNT to further the negotiation.
The organization’s statement comes after USA Hockey initially set a 5:00 p.m. EST deadline on Thursday for the USWNT to state their intentions to play in World Championships starting March 31 – an event they are currently boycotting – or allow for USA Hockey to ice another team. The deadline passed without incident. USA Hockey later clarified the deadline was not considered a ‘line in the sand.’
As for the statement itself, it’s lengthy. You can read the entire message here.
We’re working to breakdown and fact check the document. For now, here are the most salient points.
Over the last 36-ish hours, the he members of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) have been subject to nothing short of a roller coaster of emotions.
On Wednesday, the team announced a boycott of the upcoming World Championships if USA Hockey didn’t meet their demands for equal pay, promotion, organizational support and more.
On Thursday, USA Hockey stated the team had a deadline of 5:00 p.m. EST to tell the organization if they truly intended not to play. Which was later walked back by USA Hockey somewhat in a conversation with Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Hersch.
After all that, a majority of the national team had to take to the ice for an NWHL winner-take-all semifinal playoff game between the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale.
Recognizing the importance of the moment, the NWHL ditched their normal introductions for a special ceremony.
“On this episode, Jen Neale calls in to talk about Team USA’s fight for fair pay, the Leafs hitting the panic button (or not), and being a maniac on the Internet.”