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U.S. women’s hockey players show solildarity in portraits

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 10 - United States v Sweden

Kacey Bellamy #22, Amanda Kessel #28, Kelli Stack #16, Megan Bozek #9, Hilary Knight #21, Michelle Picard #23 and Kendall Coyne #26 of the United States huddle around the net before the Women’s Ice Hockey Playoffs Semifinal game against Sweden on day ten of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 17, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The U.S. women’s hockey team is ... family, powerful, united, strong, brave, together, limitless, fierce, bold, historic, ambitious, resilient, fearless and devoted.

All 23 players on the U.S. roster planning to boycott the world championship that starts in one week posted portraits on Twitter on Friday morning. Each player held a paper with a one-word descriptor.

The players plan to boycott the world championship tournament in Plymouth, Mich., unless their wage dispute with USA Hockey is settled.

The players believed they reached an agreement with USA Hockey in a 10-hour-plus meeting Monday, but USA Hockey’s later counter offer “didn’t reflect the progress of the negotiations,” according to the players’ representatives.

USA Hockey said Thursday that it will start reaching out to potential replacement players, but it still hopes to come to an agreement to field its original team in Plymouth.

“As we have maintained from the beginning, this issue is about more than the compensation of the current team: it’s about equitable treatment for female players now and in the future,” the players said in a statement Thursday. “A forward-looking agreement will benefit the next generation of players even more than the current players. For that reason, and the fact that the younger players identify with us, we are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play.”

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