Team USA was dealt a crushing blow on the opening day of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
According to a team spokesperson, star forward Brianna Decker will miss the remainder of the Olympic tournament after sustaining a leg injury during USA's preliminary round matchup versus Finland on Thursday morning.
Midway through the first period of USA's eventual 5-2 victory, Decker got tangled up with an opposing Finnish player and remained down on the ice. After being unable to stand on her own power, Decker was eventually stretchered off the ice and was seen wearing a walking boot and using crutches following the game.
In losing Decker, USA will not only be without one of its best forwards, but also one of its most decorated players ever.
Since making her international debut at the U-18 World Championship in 2009, Decker has been a key contributor for Team USA in practically every event under the sun, helping her home country capture Olympic gold in 2018, Olympic silver in 2014, and a whopping six world championship gold medals to go with it. Decker has scored close to a point-per-game while representing the United States on the global stage throughout her career, including racking up three points in five games back in 2018 to help USA leave Pyeong Chang with a gold medal.
This is a significant loss not just for Team USA, but for hockey fans in general, who will not be able to watch Decker perform for the remainder of the tournament.
Here's hoping she experiences a speedy recovery.