They came to Japan with a singular purpose — to become the first-ever Olympic champion in women’s ice hockey — and in the process they crafted the signature moment of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games. Pick a glowing phrase or adjective and it has been used to describe the achievement of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team and the 20 players who came together to realize a dream.
The team had a powerful impact on the growth of girls' and women's hockey in the United States thanks to the success it enjoyed in Nagano, Japan. The team twice defeated arch-rival Canada, including by a 3-1 count in the gold-medal game, en route to winning the first gold medal presented in women's ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games.
Behind the guidance of head coach Ben Smith, Team USA finished the tournament undefeated (6-0-0) and outscored its opponents, 36-8. Cammi Granato, a 2008 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, Karyn Bye, Katie King and Gretchen Ulion co-led the U.S. with eight points each, while netminders Sarah Tueting and Sara DeCosta split time in goal, each winning three games.
|Feb. 8||China||W, 5-0|
|Feb. 9||Sweden||W, 7-1|
|Feb. 11||Finland||W, 4-2|
|Feb. 12||Japan||W, 10-0|
|Feb. 14||Canada||W, 7-4|
|Feb. 17||Canada (Gold medal)||W, 3-1|