After threatening to boycott the IIHF Women’s World Championship, the women of USA Hockey won the tournament a little after a week after they came to an agreement with USA Hockey for better wages and benefits.
Forward, Hilary Knight made the winning goal in a 3-2 overtime victory against Canada in the title game. This is the team’s fourth-straight world championship title.
On March 15, the women of USA Hockey announced that they would boycott the world championship if a deal could not be reached that met their demands for better wages and benefits.
Tense negotiations went back and forth for about a month with the federation even trying to put together a replacement team in case a deal could not be struck. However, many pro, college, high school and post-collegiate players said that they would not accept an invitation to play in the championship as a replacement player.
The women of USA Hockey adopted the hashtag, #beboldforchange, which helped the cause grow on social media. Thousands of people used the hashtag to voice their opinions, including former UConn standouts Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.
After the deal was made a joint statement was released by both sides.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport. We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey,” the statement said.
U.S. women’s national team captain Meghan Duggan also spoke of how the deal bettered the sport.
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right, and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough.”
The historic deal provides the women of USA hockey with many benefits that they did not have before.
According to ESPNW, the players will be making more than $70,000 during non-Olympic years and as much as $129,000 in Olympic years.
USA Hockey will also be paying the women’s team performance bonuses for the first time.
The women’s team will receive the same level of travel arrangements and insurance coverage as the men’s team for the first time.
A committee will be established to make recommendations on how USA Hockey can improve its marketing, scheduling, promotion, and public relations effort of the women’s game.
USA Hockey also will create a foundation position to improve fundraising and other efforts for its girls’ development teams.
“[Sitting out the tournament] was a reality from day one,” Duggan told the Associated Press. “We put that on the line, and we made a promise to ourselves that until we reached an agreement that we thought was acceptable and we had made progress, that was a realization that maybe we wouldn’t be there.”
Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.