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United States women's hockey to boycott world championships over wage dispute

17 March 2017

The USA Hockey community was a bit rocked on Wednesday morning by a huge report from the Women's National Team.

Check back with SB Nation and The Ice Garden, our women's hockey blog, all day as more information and comments become available.

"Good luck", she says with a laugh.

"They aren't asking for anything insane. The boys" hockey teams, they get rings every time there's a championship, a couple of months after they win. "The thing is, they know that".

When the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship kicks off in Plymouth, Michigan on March 31, the host country will not be there.

The women are asking for fair wages and support and will boycott the world competition unless "significant progress" is made in negotiations with USA Hockey.

USA Hockey had set the deadline earlier Thursday ahead of the tournament, set to begin at month's end.

Hockey Canada held a media conference call on Wednesday, featuring program general manager Melody Davidson as well as players Marie-Philip Poulin, Brianne Jenner, Lauriane Rougeau and Haley Irwin.

The simple economics of what they're being paid is even more galling. They maintained that their situation with Hockey Canada is different than what their Americans rivals experience, although they were hesitant to elaborate. And just like I said before, about how the men have the under-17 development programs, we don't have that on our side. We don't have any details on it. "It'll be interesting to see who they come up with".

The team's fight received considerable public support on social media from lawmakers, former US women's hockey players, and members of the USA women's national soccer team, who have spent the past year battling their own federation for equal pay. It says a lot for the fact that there needs to be change.

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Regardless of how this whole situation plays out, the stance that these women have taken will not, and can not, be forgotten, even long after the medals have been awarded at the World Championships on April 7.

"It's unfortunate", she said.

"This is not something we want to do".

"We have a great group of leadership and great player pool". "Participation at the grassroots level is unbelievable, but it stops once you get older because the opportunities are more limited". We owe it to ourselves to stand up for what is right.

Officials also vowed to field an alternate team for the world championships later this month in Plymouth, Mich., if necessary.

"We want to play", Duggan said.

"No one has reached out to me", said Jenner.

USA women's hockey captain Meghan Duggan didn't rule out the possibility that the players would agree to participate if their concerns are addressed, saying, "We want this to get resolved".

With the championships just a fortnight away, we won't have to wait long to see whether the team follows through with their boycott, or if progress will be made.

Requests for fair wages in worldwide competition, travel accommodations and gear, and improvement in the funding for girl's hockey development were all included in the negotiations that the women's hockey team stated they were working towards.

United States women's hockey to boycott world championships over wage dispute