The United States women’s hockey team will get the rematch it was hoping for, with several former Badgers playing key roles.
With the Americans’ resounding 6-1 win over Sweden Monday in Sochi, they secured their spot in the gold medal game against Team Canada. And among those who will take part in the gold medal matchup will be four former Wisconsin women’s hockey stars who now play for the U.S.
Those four players include Hilary Knight, who was a Badger from 2008-2012; Brianna Decker (2009-2013); Meghan Duggan (2007-2011); and Jessie Vetter (2004-2009).
Not only will those four be part of the gold medal game Thursday morning at 11 a.m. central time, but they all played crucial roles in getting the U.S. to the game in the first place. In the semifinal against Sweden, Decker tied for the team lead in scoring with her goal and two assists — her goal being the final one of the game for the United States. Vetter, on the other hand, only saw nine shots, coming up with eight saves in the process, to pick up her third win of the tournament.
— Jessie Vetter (@Vetter31) February 17, 2014
In the tournament Decker, a standout who won the 2012 Patty Kazmaier award, is tied for the team in lead in points with her six points that includes two goals and four assists.
Knight, who is competing in her second Olympics, has five points so far in the tournament on two goals and three assists. Her first goal in the tournament came 53 seconds into Team USA’s opening round game against Finland and was the fastest goal ever to open an Olympic game.
With three goaltenders on the U.S. roster, Vetter has seen most of the time in net, starting three of the four games so far. She possesses a 90.9 save percentage and a 1.69 goals-against-average. Having seen most of the time in net in the tournament, it would appear Vetter will get the in the gold medal game — she started in goal in the gold medal game in Vancouver in 2010 as well.
Duggan, despite only tallying one point so far, is the captain of the American squad and should be an equally important part of the final game both intangibly and statistically.
Meaghan Mikkelson is the only former Badger on Team Canada.