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The team was set to boycott the championship tournament, with protests starting in response to the inequality between the men’s and women’s programs concerning both players’ compensation and treatment. Both sides came together after an initial proposal was rejected on March 20, according to ESPN.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey, said in a statement. “We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey.”
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The unprecedented agreement marks a huge step forward for the women’s sport. Highlights of the deal include a much-needed raise and insurance and travel arrangements that are equal to those offered to the men’s team, according to ESPN.
Another influential part of the agreement is the formation of a Women’s High Performance Advisory Group, consisting of former and current players from the program. The group’s goal will be to help USA Hockey continue to take steps to advance girls’ and women’s hockey programs, marketing, promotion, and fundraising.
“We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened,” Meghan Duggan, the team’s captain, said. “In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough.”
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