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U.S. women forge new legacy by standing for all hockey players, then winning gold for themselves

U.S. women forge new legacy by standing for all hockey players, then winning gold for themselves

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – On Thursday morning, little girls across America will dream of being Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson.

Her unforgettable golden goal, scored in the sixth round of shootouts here, is this generation’s Brandi Chastain moment. It will be replayed and relived in the minds of an untold amount of Americans, and it will be etched in not just women’s hockey history, not just hockey history, but sports history.

Yet that goal and this game is only the exclamation point at the end of a long passage that included Lamoureux-Davidson and her teammates imperiling their own dreams so that those same little girls could have a better hockey life than they did. Less than a year ago, the American players threatened a boycott – effectively laying down their sticks and hanging up their skates in the name of equal treatment. They risked this very Olympic moment they all wanted so badly.

They risked it without a shred of doubt, though. They would win the contract dispute, they would win the World Championships, and they would win this Olympic title because they believed their legacy into existence.

They knew it all along.

“There was no doubt in anyone’s mind,” said Gigi Marvin. “It was just a matter of how and when. And what an ending.”

Marvin, 30, took the first penalty shot in the shootout and although it was a time where most would be anxious, a smile crept across her face as she stared down the moment.

“I’ve done that so many times in my mind, and in life,” she said. “In Warroad [Minn.], where I’m from, we skate seven hours a day, it’s no joke. We create these games and moments in our minds as 7-year-olds.”

She was 10 when she saw the American women win gold in 1998, and that’s when all of this started. That’s what most of these players kept as their childhood touchstone as they practiced and played, against girls and against boys, in rinks far and near, throughout their lives. But their path would be trying. Eight years ago, the women’s team was shut out by Canada in the gold medal match in Vancouver. Four years ago, they blew a late-game lead and lost in overtime. It was so devastating that forward Amanda Kessel couldn’t watch the replay and had trouble talking about it years after it happened.

“You don’t train that hard for second place,” said team captain Meghan Duggan.

There would be even bigger hurdles yet. In March of 2017, the team became fed up with unequal pay and unequal treatment compared to the U.S. men. They came together and decided to boycott the World Championships if USA Hockey didn’t give them a better deal. They knew they could end up watching the tournament they wanted to win. They knew the Olympics would also be made uncertain.

  an effect going into [Olympic] tryouts,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who

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