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Hilary Knight Makes History In Utica

By Nicole Haase, 04/16/24, 4:00PM EDT


Knight’s 14th medal makes her the most decorated athlete in Women’s World Championship history

Although it wasn’t the medal she hoped for, U.S. Women’s National Team Captain Hilary Knight became the most decorated athlete in Women’s World Championship history by earning the 14th medal of her career this past weekend at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

The U.S. and Canada played one of the most frenetic, electric and exciting games in the history of women’s international hockey Sunday night in front of a record 4,182 fans at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York. In the end, the United States fell to Canada in overtime, 6-5, to leave Western New York with a silver medal.

Knight has won nine gold medals and five silvers at the Women’s World Championship since she joined the senior national team in 2007. Her 14 medals surpass Canada’s Hayley Wickenheiser for the most all time.

The Sun Valley, Idaho, native finished the tournament tied for the scoring lead with teammates Alex Carpenter and Caroline Harvey with 10 points each. 

Coming off a year where she was named the inaugural IIHF Female Player of the Year, Knight was once again a huge part of USA’s success, including scoring three times on the power play. In the gold-medal game, she tallied a crucial backhand while facing away from the goal to put USA up 4-3 to start the third period of the gold-medal game. 

“This team is just awesome,” Knight said. “Every single person was rowing in the right direction for this boat, and, unfortunately, it didn't bounce our direction, but I couldn't be prouder of our group and how we've handled this entire tournament and especially all the pressures of being on home ice. There's a lot that goes into that, but I’m extremely proud.”

Sunday was the second highest scoring gold medal game in Women’s Worlds history, dating back to a 7-5 victory for the Americans in Malmö, Sweden, in 2015. Four of the seven Women’s World Championship gold-medal games since then have come down to the U.S. and Canada in overtime or a shootout. 

More than 75,000 fans attended games in Utica to see the U.S. go undefeated in six games heading into the gold-medal game, having given up just three goals all tournament — all of which came in one preliminary round win over Finland.

Knight also complimented tournament MVP Laila Edwards, who played in her first Women’s World Championship as a member of the national team after debuting with the squad in December in the Rivalry Series. Edwards led the team with a hat trick in their quarterfinal win over Japan and then sniped goals in both the semifinal and the gold medal game. In all, her six goals tied teammate Alex Carpenter for most at the tournament. 

The honor comes just two years after Edwards made a splash in the 2022 Under-18 Women’s World Championship, where she was also named MVP of the tournament. 

U.S. head coach John Wroblewski hopes this is just the beginning of what’s possible for Edwards. 

“Her path is still being mapped out,” he said. “We’re barely seeing a glimpse of what that story will look like.”

At just 20 years old and finishing her sophomore year of college, there is plenty more for Edwards to learn. Edwards said she knew that making the team at all was a gift and she wanted to make the most of it, which helped her be confident enough to pick out corners and snipe shots against some of the toughest opponents and best goalies in the world.  

“I’m super grateful to be here,” Edwards said. “Wherever I was in the lineup, I knew to make sure every shift counted. I knew my shifts would be limited, so I had to make a difference every shift.” 

While the gold-medal loss stings, this young American squad with 13 collegiate players will be better for having played in one of the best games these two teams have ever played against each other, and that experience will help propel them to more gold medals in the future. 

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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