Brianna Decker: 5 Things About USA Hockey Player Out Of Olympics After First Match

After suffering a brutal injury in the U.S. women team's first round match against Finland, Brianna Decker will have to sit out for the rest of the Winter Games. Find out more about the three-time Olympian here!

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Although the U.S. women’s hockey team celebrated an upset against defending bronze-medalists Finland at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday (February 3), the win came with a price: star player Brianna Decker is out after suffering a brutal injury. Just moments into the first period, Brianna collided with an opponent, causing a serious leg injury, agonizing screams from Brianna and several doctors to take her off the ice in a stretcher. “She’s one of the toughest, strongest players in the world, and so when you hear her react like that, obviously, it was devastating and nerve-racking for us,” team captain Kendall Coyne Schofield told The New York Times.

Brianna Decker
Brianna Decker is out of the 2022 Winter Olympics after suffering a brutal leg injury. (AP/Shutterstock)

Hockey officials later confirmed Brianna, one of the most experienced players for the U.S. women’s team, would be sitting out for the rest of the Olympic competition. “Everyone did an amazing job stepping up,” Kendall added. “There’s no replacing Brianna Decker in that situation, but everyone stepped up to the plate in the way they were asked to.” Find out more about Brianna, below.

1. Brianna Began Playing Hockey In Wisconsin

Born on May 13, 1991 in Dousman, Wisconsin, Brianna was on the ice at a very early age, much like her three brothers, Bryan, Ben and Brody. While attending the University of Wisconsin to major in Human Development and Family Studies, Brianna was awarded the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Award, recognizing the best female ice hockey player in NCAA Division I play. Brianna then played for Team Women’s Sports Foundation before joining the Olympic team as a forward.

2. Brianna Is a Three-Time Olympian

Quickly moving up the ranks in the hockey world, Brianna made the U.S. team in 2014, helping to cinch a silver medal at the Winter Games in Sochi. She then led the United States in assists during its gold medal run at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. This year, she has been named an alternate captain for the 2022 Beijing Games.

3. She’s Won The NWHL MVP Twice

During her stint with the Boston Blades, Brianna would score the first hat trick in National Women’s Hockey League history on October 25, 2015. She was also awarded Most Valuable Player consecutively by the NWHL for her performance in the 2015–16 season and 2016–17 season.

4. Her Family Quickly Rallied Around The Injured Player

Brianna Decker
Brianna Decker is helped off the ice after an injury against Finland during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. (David McIntyre/Penta Press/Shutterstock)

“She is in really good spirits,” her mother Marilyn Decker told TMJ4 News following the incident.”Thank God it’s not her knee, and it’s not her head. She’s talking and she’s breathing and she’s doing pretty good.” She continued, “Immediately they did a CT scan and an MRI and they didn’t give me the results on all of that yet – but it’s something with the lower leg. The Olympic doctors are incredible so she’s in really good hands.” Brianna’s younger brother, who wasn’t named, added, “This isn’t her first injury. I believe she’ll be back.”

5. Brianna’s Teammates Want To Win Gold For Her

When asked about the horrible accident that caused Brianna’s injury during the match against Finland, teammate Amanda Kessel told NBC after the game, “It was sickening. She is one of the toughest players I have ever played with. She is not staying down on the ice and not crying if it was not bad.” Amanda added, “We want to win for her.”