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2022 Olympics: USA’s Decker out for tournament with injury

The assistant captain went down in the first period after getting tangled with a Finnish player.

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day -1
Brianna Decker #14 of Team United States goes off injured and has to leave the ice on a stretcher during the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match between Team United States and Team Finland at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 03, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Per Erica Ayala, USA Hockey confirmed that assistant captain and forward Brianna Decker is out for the tournament after an injury she sustained in the first period of the Team USA’s first game at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

About midway through the first period, Decker and Finland’s Ronja Savolainen both lost their footing together, sending them crashing to the ice with Savolainen landing on top of Decker’s left leg, which also twisted as they fell. Savolainen skated away under her own power.

With no fans in the stands, Decker’s distress echoed through the building and was audible on the broadcast.

The trainers came out immediately to check on Decker before she was stretchered, sitting up, off the ice.

This is a massive blow to Team USA, even though they went on to win the game 5-2. Decker brings a wealth of experience to the ice as this is her third Olympics. She’s widely thought to be in the Top 5 players in the world.

It wasn’t immediately clear if or how Team USA would be able to replace her. They were allowed to bring a taxi squad to the Olympics, due to COVID, but opted not to do so.

The US’s next game is in 48 hours when they’ll face ROC on Saturday morning at 8:10 a.m. eastern.