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.
All USWNT players on both rosters were announced one by one for the crowd to cheer on.
The Pride went on to beat the lower seeded Whale, 8-2. To say the national team players were playing with emotion is an understatement. Alex Carpenter lead the team with five points followed by Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker at four points each.
The NWHL players were the first of the professional women’s leagues to throw their full support behind the actions of the national team. First reported by Bob McKenzie on NBCSN’s Wednesday broadcast, the NWHL players pledged to not replace the boycotting USWNT players should they be asked to do so by USA Hockey.
NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan followed up her players’ support of the strike with a statement of her own.
The Buffalo Beauts and New York Riveters play the last semifinal game on Friday in New Jersey. We’d be surprised if the hometown announcers didn’t follow suit with what took place in Boston tonight.