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GOLDEN MOMENT IN WOMEN'S HOCKEY; U.S. DEFEATS CANADA IN TITLE GAME.



Byline: Ann Killion San Jose Mercury News The San Jose Mercury News is the major daily newspaper in San Jose, California and Silicon Valley. The paper is owned by MediaNews Group. Its headquarters and printing plant are located in North San Jose next to the Nimitz Freeway (Interstate 880).  

THE sticks flew high in the air along with the memories of tucking ponytails up into helmets and going by boys' names and hearing taunts from the stands.

The tears poured out and so did the tension over missed honeymoons and college degrees postponed and family vacations never experienced.

And then the women who had just become the first to win an Olympic gold Olympic Gold is the official video game of the XXV Olympic Summer Games, hosted by Barcelona, Spain in 1992. It was released for the Sega consoles, Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System, and Sega's handheld, Game Gear.  medal for ice hockey ice hockey: see hockey, ice.
ice hockey

Game played on an ice rink by two teams of six players on skates. The object is to drive a puck (a small, hard rubber disk) into the opponents' goal with a hockey stick, thus scoring one point.
 turned to search the stands, to press their faces against the glass and find the people who never questioned.

The dads who took little girls by the hand to the rink and found hockey skates, not figure skates, that fit.

The moms who never said that hockey was really a boys' sport.

The brothers who let them tag along tag along
Verb

to accompany someone, esp. when uninvited: I tagged along behind the gang

Verb 1.
 to practice and the sisters who put up with being body-checked against the bedroom wall.

When the U.S. women won the hockey gold medal gold medal

traditional first prize. [Western Cult: Misc.]

See : Prize
 Tuesday night, beating Canada 3-1, the moment was so big, so emotional, it even washed away the bitterness of defeat.

``When Cammi Granato Catherine Michelle "Cammi" Granato (born March 25, 1971 in Downers Grove, Illinois) is probably the best-known American female ice hockey player. She is the daughter of Donald and Natalie Granato and was named after two of her mother's sisters, Catherine and Michelle.  had the gold medal put around her neck, a feeling of joy went through my body,'' said Canada coach Shannon Miller Shannon Lee Miller (b. March 10, 1977 in Rolla, Missouri) is an artistic gymnast from Edmond, Oklahoma. She has earned 7 Olympic Medals and 9 World Championship Medals since her Elite International debut in 1990. She is the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history. . ``An Olympic gold medal was hung around the neck of a woman hockey player. I couldn't believe the impact that had on me.''

That Miller - who almost started an international incident after Saturday's slugfest between Canada and the United States The United States and Canada share a unique legal relationship. U.S. law looks northward with a mixture of optimism and cooperation, viewing Canada as an integral part of U.S. economic and environmental policy.  - could see the larger picture with such clarity tells you what a mission these women were on, on both sides of the border.

This was an Olympic moment for the ages.

A group of young women with no motivation other than a gold medal played an almost perfect game and made a nation notice.

Of all the sports that have brought women's teams Olympic gold in recent years, hockey had the hardest fight and the greatest stereotypes to overcome. Girls play basketball, soccer and softball, but for years little girls didn't play hockey.

The U.S. team's best defensive player, Tara Mounsey, led the boys team to a 22-0 record in the New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E).  state championship and was named Mr. Hockey of the tournament. And she's only 19, born six years after Title IX was passed. Her teammates dreamed of being Wayne Gretzky Noun 1. Wayne Gretzky - high-scoring Canadian ice-hockey player (born in 1961)
Gretzky
, who just happened to be in the stands Tuesday. Defender Angela Ruggiero Angela Ruggiero (born January 3, 1980 in Panorama City, California) is an American ice hockey defenseman. She is also the author of a memoir about her hockey experiences and a former contestant on the NBC reality show The Apprentice. , who grew up in Simi Valley, idolized i·dol·ize  
tr.v. i·dol·ized, i·dol·iz·ing, i·dol·iz·es
1. To regard with blind admiration or devotion. See Synonyms at revere1.

2. To worship as an idol.
 Marty McSorley.

There's no real dream of a professional league, no major endorsements lined up. Eight years ago, there wasn't even a national team. There is no NCAA NCAA
abbr.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
 championship. Only one state - Minnesota - sanctions high school girls' hockey as a varsity sport.

All hockey had going for it was a core of dedicated women who have sacrificed so much to get here. Goalie Sarah Tueting dropped out of Dartmouth for two years, postponing her neurobiology Neurobiology

Study of the development and function of the nervous system, with emphasis on how nerve cells generate and control behavior. The major goal of neurobiology is to explain at the molecular level how nerve cells differentiate and develop their
 degree. Forward A.J. Mleczko put off her senior year at Harvard. Forward Gretchen Ulion resigned from a teaching job. Defender Vicki Movsessian quit a job with an insurance firm. Lisa Brown-Miller quit her coaching job at Harvard and postponed her honeymoon.

All to chase this dream.

To become the first women to push down a barrier. To give little girls a gender-correct image to remember, to match the ``Miracle on Ice'' scene that inspired so many kids. Just to do it, so no one can ever say again that it can't be done.

It wasn't easy. Brown-Miller, who has yet to take a honeymoon because of her commitment to the national team, thought about quitting at one point. But her husband, John, changed her mind.

These women - scrappy and virtually anonymous - are closer to the 1980 U.S. hockey team than they are to their male 1998 NHL-groomed counterparts. And most had the images from ``Miracle on Ice'' burned in their heads and knew instantly how to drop their gloves and hurl their sticks high when the buzzer sounded.

They had received encouragement from 1980 captain Mike Eruzione and goalie Jim Craig.

Tueting, the cello player and future medical student, was phenomenal in goal Tuesday night, stopping shot after shot, particularly in the third period when a frantic Canadian team could sense its world dominance slipping away.

Canada beat the United States in all four world championships, but the teams split the 14 games they played against each other since October. And the tension between the teams had reached a boiling point Saturday, after a physical game and a postgame press conference when accusations flew.

After the championship game, the silver medalists were devastated dev·as·tate  
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.

2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark.
 and watched the U.S. celebrate for what seemed like an eternity.

Ruggiero skated down the ice and found the game puck and put it in her pocket to give to her father. Her dad, a former goalie who taught her how to play hockey, couldn't be at the game.

Defender Chris Bailey climbed on the bench and reached above the rail, finding her mother's arms and breaking down sobbing. Bailey's father died of a heart attack when she was 13. Albert Bailey had always encouraged his daughter to dream. His memory was alive in the embrace.

Granato, whose brother Tony, a former L.A. King, went to a TV station to watch his baby sister play hockey live, bowed her head and felt the medal slip around her neck.

``Ten years ago people said, `You aren't supposed to be on the ice,' '' Granato said, rubbing a finger over the medal. ``This is the expression of everything we've worked for.''

They took off their helmets and shook their hair out. They hugged and cried.

They were women. They played hockey.

And they were the best in the world.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

PHOTO (color) U.S. women's hockey team member Karen Bye celebrates.

Associated Press
COPYRIGHT 1998 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 18, 1998
Words:969
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