It’s a cliché saying, but while the United States women’s ice hockey team may have finished No. 2 at the 2022 Winter Olympics, they are No. 1 in the eyes of many young female hockey players throughout the United States.
Team USA fell short in the women’s ice hockey gold medal match, losing 3-2 to Canada Wednesday night to earn silver in Beijing.
While it wasn’t the result the team was hoping for, the two weeks of competition put women’s hockey in the national spotlight, a place that the sports does not see enough of.
“You can be here too,” captain Kendall Coyne Schofield said when asked what her message to young female hockey players would be. “I hope you enjoyed watching back home. Women’s hockey isn’t on TV enough. And it can’t just be these two weeks, we need it to be more visible, more often.”
The 29-year-old forward was emotional during her postgame press conference, but hopes that her and her teammates were able to inspire the future of women’s ice hockey.
“If you’re watching back home and you now have a dream, I was you [before] and my dream came true,” Coyne Schofield said.
Hilary Knight, who scored the first goal for the Americans in their unsuccessful comeback in the gold medal game, echoed the same sentiment as her teammate.
“I hope [young girls] saw something in our team that sparked motivation for them to never give up and be your very best,” Knight said after the game. “It’s the fabric of our team, we never quit tonight and it’s something we’re really proud of. I’d just say keep going and have fun with whatever you do.”