USA Hockey and the U.S. Women’s National Team announced today that they’ve reached an agreement that will result in groundbreaking support for the U.S. Women’s National Team program over the course of the next four years.
The agreement ensures fans will see the U.S. Women’s National Team defend its gold medal in the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship on home ice. The event begins Friday (March 31) at USA Hockey Arena in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, with Team USA facing Canada at 7:30 p.m. ET (live on NHL Network). The U.S. is expected to hold its first official practice on Thursday (March 30) at 3:15 p.m. ET at USA Hockey Arena.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey.”
“Our sport is the big winner today,” said Meghan Duggan, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
“We look forward to the future with great anticipation,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “This process has, in the end, made us better.”
“I’m glad we could come together and reach an arrangement that will have a positive and lasting impact,” said Hilary Knight, veteran forward of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “This is an inspirational time and we’re excited to get back on the ice and represent our country.”
“The action taken today is an important statement of USA Hockey’s commitment and support of our women’s national team program and female hockey overall,” said Donna Guariglia, treasurer of USA Hockey and former chair of USA Hockey’s Girls’ and Women’s Section.
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photo Anton Vos