Former Gopher Speaks Out on U.S. Women's Hockey Team's New Agreement

March 31, 2017 08:55 PM

The U.S. women's hockey team team knocked off Canada 2-0 Friday night at the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship in Michigan.

That was just days after coming to terms on a new deal with USA Hockey.


The agreement was good news to the six Minnesotans on the national team's roster, including five current or former Gophers. The team had been threatening to boycott the tournament if an agreement could not be reached.

"Wearing the red, white and blue is ... a dream come true for me, it's an honor," said forward Hannah Brandt of Vadnais Heights, one of those five who played college hockey at the University of Minnesota.

The players announced earlier this month that they had asked USA Hockey to address equitable support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, market and publicity for the women’s team.

In a news release after the deal was agreed to Wednesday, USA Hockey wrote it includes the formation of a Women’s High Performance Advisory Group. That group will be made up of former and current players from the U.S. women’s national team program, along with volunteer and staff leadership.

It will meet regularly to assist USA Hockey in efforts to advance girls and women’s hockey in all areas, including programming, marketing, promotion and fundraising.

“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.”

Both the women’s hockey team and USA Hockey agreed not to disclose the new financial terms between them.

"I think the boycott is an iconic moment for women's sports," said Nicole LaVoi, the co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.

"What this boycott was about was getting the resources that they deserved. It wasn't just about money. It was about equity."

Brandt agreed with that assessment.

"For all of us, it wasn't just about this team or for this program, but just about girls in general and girls in sports all over the place," Brandt said.

Her teammates echoed similar sentiments

“We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened," team captain Meghan Duggan said.

"In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough."


Eric Chaloux

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