Brianna Decker was screaming, her pain barely audible in a nearly empty arena. The crying didn’t stop, the clock for the first period stopped at 10:58.
Within an hour, American hockey officials confirmed what most people would assume: Decker, one of the most formidable and experienced players on the US women’s team, would not be returning. match against Finland on Thursday. Her standing for the rest of the Olympics was in doubt, a blow to the Americans’ ambitions to repeat the Olympic championship.
The United States did not send a taxi fleet of substitute players to Beijing.
Decker, a forward from Dousman, Wis., is on her third Olympic roster, just four years after she led the United States in assists in a gold medal run at the Olympics. Pyeongchang 2018. This year, she is the substitute captain.
After health officials evacuated a conscious and calm Decker from the bandages on a stretcher, the Americans responded quickly. Amanda Kessel slowly approached the net along the goal line, then circled the bend and just 21 seconds into the game resumed, scoring the first goal of the tournament for the United States.
Less than three minutes later, Alex Carpenter scored with a power play to give the US the lead. The Americans scored two more goals in the second half.
While the match against Finland was essentially a glorification match – both teams were guaranteed to advance to the next round of the tournament – this match was a chance for both teams to take down their opponents early. formidable player.
Finland won bronze in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018. Canada, that silver medalist, beat Switzerland, 12-1, earlier on Thursday.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/sports/olympics/brianna-decker-injury-us-hockey.html US hockey star Brianna Decker injured in team’s first game