U.S. Women’s National Team forward Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) stands alone.
But while Knight is ultimately the one whose name will be etched in the record books, she pointed to daily consistency and her teammates as the driving forces to help reach the once-in-a-lifetime mark.
Knight broke the record for career points at the IIHF Women’s World Championship with a goal and an assist in a win over Hungary during Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup.
“Honestly, it’s just being focused and showing up every day,” Knight said a day after breaking the record. “It’s one of those things that I love what I do and I love being part of this room. To wake up every day and make the decision to be part of this team … to train and compete … it’s really a dream come true.”
Knight recorded her 87th career point in world championship play during the 12-1 win against Hungary, surpassing Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser and becoming the all-time leader.
“It’s pretty cool,” Knight said of holding the record. “Obviously, it’s an individual accolade, and it’s recognized individually, but I have played with some amazing players for as many years as I have.”
Knight previously passed Jayna Hefford for second place with a three-point effort against Switzerland. That helped set up Thursday’s record-breaking night.
“I didn’t necessarily know what number I was at,” Knight said. “It wasn’t really on my radar, but one time I looked up at the jumbotron and they had a points watch and I thought I may have a shot at it.”
Knight tied the mark with the primary assist on a Hannah Bilka second-period tally, part of a nine-goal outburst that made it a 10-0 game through two.
But Knight wasn’t done, as she opened the third period with the goal that broke the record. Bilka circled from behind the net and sent it to the slot where Knight’s glove-side wrist shot made history.
“It was this weird feeling where time slowed down,” Knight said of the moment. “I saw my linemate look off two other players that were open and I thought that this could be the one. Everyone was super passionate about it and to be able to score another goal in this jersey is always an honor.”
It was fitting for Knight, who already holds the all-time career world championship goals record, something she established during the 2021 championship. With six goals at this year’s tournament, Knight has shown no sign of slowing down.
“It’s one of those things where you show up and prepare for your job, you do your job and hope great things can come from it,” Knight said. “I’ve been privileged to play with some phenomenal players and I would love to continue to do so. I would like to take this and run with it for as long as I can.”
Knight is already appearing in a record 12th world championship, which is the most in the tournament’s history. As a mainstay on Team USA since 2006, Knight has racked up eight world championship gold medals and three silver.
Knight was excited to set a new world championship scoring record, but is focused on the main goal for the U.S. — bringing home a gold medal. In another classic showdown against Canada, Knight and her teammates will have the opportunity to do just that, with the gold-medal game slated for Sunday (Sept. 4) at 1:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network.
“There was a lot of buildup and a lot of celebration to be able to do that with this group,” Knight said. “I had overwhelming support, getting back to my phone and I put it on silent because I couldn’t handle all of the messages coming in. It was really cool though and I really appreciate all of the people who reached out and recognized the accomplishment.”
Knight has also played in 22 Olympic women’s hockey games, most ever by a U.S.-born player. She has 12 goals and 27 career points in Olympic competition. That’s first among active players and second all-time in points behind Jenny Potter.
She insists she has more hockey in front of her. Before Knight starts thinking about her future, she wants to add another world championship gold medal to trophy case.
“I’m going to take this and run with it as long as I can because I know I can’t play forever,” Knight said. “If anything, being at this level for this long has provided me with perspective and appreciation for the level of talent here. To be able to do this every day is really special. It’s almost like you’re living a dream, which is pretty cool.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.