By now, you’ve probably read that the captain of the Gold-medal-winning US Women’s National Team has married former Team Canada forward Gillian Apps. The wedding photos, at least the ones that have made it to their Instagram pages, are gorgeous:
But we’re a hockey site, so we’re going to do more than just give you the romance—we’re going to give you the hockey behind the romance.
Yes, Team USA and Team Canada have the most intense rivalry in international women’s hockey. The two teams have met in almost every single Olympic gold-medal game in the sport’s history (except once, in 2006, where the gold-medal game was between Canada and Sweden, and Team USA took Bronze).
Apps first played for Canada’s senior team in 2001. At the 2004 World Championships, she scored 4 goals in 5 games. Duggan, who is three years younger, didn’t join USA’s senior team until the 2007 World Championships. She was the fifth-highest scorer at the 2011 World Championships, where Team USA won the gold medal against Canada by a score of 3-2, in overtime. Heard that one before? To make things even more fun, both players wore the number 10 when competing for their countries. Duggan captained the US side starting in 2014, but had worn an A before that.
This isn’t like your average pro-athlete power couple. For almost every gold medal one of them has, the other has a silver one, starting in 2007 and going through the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They faced off for five World Championship gold medals and two Olympic gold medals, all in all—but that’s just the international rivalry.
Apps played 4 years of Division I hockey with Dartmouth from 2002 to 2007, taking 2005-2006 off to play in the Torino Olympics. She averaged 1.4 points per game during her time with the Big Green, and scored 90 goals in 113 games (all while serving 281 penalty minutes). Duggan played at the University of Wisconsin from 2006 to 2011, taking 2009-2010 off for the Vancouver Olympics. She averaged 1.5 points per game with the Badgers and scored 108 goals in 159 games. They only overlapped for a season in 2006-2007, when Apps served as Dartmouth’s captain.
Certainly, the two teams don’t (and didn’t) have much of a rivalry, but comparing their stats, both of these women were huge offensive weapons by the time they first faced each other internationally in 2007. They were both wingers, with opposite shots, which means it is more than likely they literally faced off against each other plenty of times.
After college, Apps joined the CWHL’s Brampton (now Markham) Thunder. She played 5 seasons with them, collecting 137 points in 128 games from 2007 to 2013. Duggan joined the Boston (now Worcester) Blades in 2011, so the two of them overlapped for two years in the league, which means more faceoffs. It would be an exaggeration to say that the Blades and the Thunder had a rivalry, but it isn’t an exaggeration to say that the two competed against each other for seven years, on every stage in the sport.
Apps retired from her playing career in the spring of 2015. She didn’t return to Brampton after Sochi, but she did start to coach, first as a volunteer with SUNY Canton from 2014 to 2016, and then with Boston College in 2016-2017. Those locations may seem a little bit random until you take into consideration that Duggan played for the Buffalo Beauts in 2015-2016 while coaching at Clarkson University, a stone’s throw from Canton, and then played for the Boston Pride in 2016-2017.
The two were married in Maine this past weekend surrounded by friends, family, and teammates. The wedding parties included Team Canada’s Jayna Hefford as well as Team USA’s Erika Lawler, Kacey Bellamy, and Brianna Decker. Other players were in attendance as well, among them Team USA’s Megan Bozek and Team Canada great Cassie Campbell, according to pictures and a few Instagram comments. Duggan has yet to sign a contract to play in the NWHL or CWHL this season, and was not at Team USA’s evaluation camp this month, although that might have been due to wedding preparations. Regardless of what the future holds, these two fantastic competitors now get to try something new: being on the same team.