US women’s hockey team remains united through different kinds of crises – Los Angeles Times

Facing Canada for the gold medal in the Pyeongchang Olympic hockey tournament should be easy for the U.S. women’s hockey team after players united during two harrowing experiences that had happy outcomes.

Last spring, intent on getting better treatment from USA Hockey as well as travel stipends and accommodations equal to those given their male counterparts, team members threatened to skip the world championships. More recently, the women were evacuated from their apartments at their training base in Wesley Chapel, Fla., when Hurricane Irma took an unexpected turn toward Tampa.

Both experiences went well for the U.S. women, who have won seven of the past eight world titles but haven’t won Olympic gold since women’s hockey made its debut in 1998. Their unity during contract talks got the women better training stipends for their six-month, pre-Olympic residency as well as promises that USA Hockey would support girls’ hockey programs. Their upbeat attitude during the storm helped them get each other — and fellow evacuees — through it unscathed.

“It turned into a giant sleepover, really. Everyone in the resort and 23 of us,” U.S. forward Meghan Duggan said Tuesday during the Team USA Media Summit. “We were in a hotel function room. We had snacks, played games and cards, and we had a massage therapist come in. We kind of embraced it together and went through it together and tried to look at the positives. We were very fortunate compared to some other communities in Florida.”

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