Kacey Bellamy formally announced her retirement from the U.S. Women’s National Team on Tuesday (May 18) and shared the top five memories from her hockey career.
A native of Westfield, Massachusetts, Bellamy’s career was highlighted with outstanding success on ice, including an Olympic gold medal, eight world championship gold medals, seven Four Nations Cup titles and a Hockey East Championship.
This was one of Bellamy’s proudest moments of her life. She helped Team USA win gold on home soil for the first-time ever with a thrilling overtime win over Canada and shortly before joined with her teammates in forging a landmark agreement that included significant additional support for the women’s national team program.
“It was a grueling process, but the strength and unity displayed within our team and community made it happen,” recalled Bellamy.
During Bellamy’s senior year at the University of New Hampshire, the Wildcats won their fourth straight championship creating history for the school and the hockey program.
“We had a small roster, but we were very skilled, competitive, and we had fun,” added Bellamy. “It was one of the most memorable years playing hockey.”
It’s no secret that the rivalry between Team USA and Team Canada runs deep. For Bellamy, no matter the game or situation, the intensity and competition had on the ice was like nothing she experienced within her career.
“It fueled me,” said Bellamy. “We played every game like it was the gold-medal game. You live for moments like that in life, and I was lucky enough to do it for 15 years.”
After going toe-to-toe with Canada during the gold-medal game in Sochi, Russia, Team USA fell to their northern rivals 3-2 in overtime. For a second-straight Olympic Games, the U.S. once again took silver and it was the heartbreak that reset the squad’s focus for the games in 2018.
“At that time, it was heartbreak I’ve never experienced,” shared Bellamy. “It helped spark another gear I didn’t know I had physically and mentally. Over the years, it helped build a foundation of perspective and gratitude.”
Ranking as the top-memory from Bellamy’s hockey career is, of course, the bliss of bringing Olympic gold back stateside after 20 years. In yet another nail-biting game against Team Canada, the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team won the ultimate hardware in a shootout.
“The action we took as a group, and the changes we made throughout those four years as a program, made it that much more of an incredible feeling,” reminisced Bellamy.