Meghan Duggan formally announced her retirement from the U.S. Women’s National Team on Tuesday (Oct. 13) and shared the top five memories from her hockey career.
A native of Danvers, Massachusetts, Duggan’s career was highlighted by nothing but success, including an Olympic gold medal, seven world championship gold medals and three NCAA championships.
This game was part of Duggan’s freshman season with the University of Wisconsin. Since the quarterfinal game went into four overtimes and well after midnight, Duggan remembers eating skittles with her teammates to fuel up for each subsequent shift. The Badgers would eventually take the victory and move on to the Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y., where they would go on to win the NCAA Division I national championship for the second year in a row and the second time in program history. To make the win even more special, the team won the title in the same rink their head coach, Mark Johnson, helped the U.S. win gold in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
Arm in arm with her teammates and best friends, Duggan proudly marched into the stadium of the Opening Ceremonies for her first-ever Olympic Games as they all chanted U-S-A with the other American athletes. It was a moment built on the continuous commitment she had made to turn her Olympic dreams into reality.
As captain of the team, Duggan closed out her college career by leading the Badgers to the WCHA regular-season and playoff championships and also the NCAA Division I national championship. In the same weekend as the Frozen Four, Duggan was named the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. Winning the national title with her team and being named the top women’s college hockey player was a perfect way to finish her four years at Wisconsin.
Before a sold-out crowd at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, the U.S. earned its fourth straight world title with an exhilarating 3-2 overtime win over Canada in the gold-medal game to finish the tournament with an unblemished record. It was the first time in history that the U.S. Women’s National Team won the IIHF Women’s World Championship title on home soil. Duggan was captain of the team.
It should come to no surprise that winning gold at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games is Duggan’s No.1 memory from her playing career. She spent a lifetime working towards and dreaming of standing on the highest podium, proudly representing her country with her teammates and hearing the U.S. national anthem play for everyone to hear. After coming up just short twice – with silver medal Olympic efforts in both 2010 and 2014 – Duggan, who served as captain of the team, finally got the chance to fully celebrate with her teammates the joy of being Olympic champions.