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Hilary Knight: My Magical, Game-Winning Braid

By Hilary Knight, Two-Time Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist | March 30, 2015, 6:24 p.m. (ET)

Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Jessie Vetter. On the bus.

Hej från Sverige! (Hello from Sweden!)

Where did I leave you? Maybe at pregame nap? A ton has happened since then. After our 4-2 win over Canada, we faced off against Team Finland. It was a late game, 8 p.m. Malmö time so I had a solid nap beforehand. With a little too much time, I walked across the hall to Anne Schleper’s room and asked if she would braid my hair. I liked the braid in for the game. I do not think she knows what she signed up for as braiding my hair for the game may have just become part of my pregame ritual.

A little phrase that gets tossed around locker rooms that I have been in is: “Look good, feel good, play good,” except I will change the last “good” to “well” since my mother is a stickler for grammar and that example came up far too often in our household. Anyway, going back to the braid, I felt pretty put together before the game and our line was clicking on the ice. Logically, in no way does a braid impact performance so much so that I have to have it every time, but I liked it so I am thinking about keeping it…Thoughts?

Girls taking a breather in the lobby

As for more pertinent information…

We beat Finland 4-1. I believe we had over 50 shots. We peppered the goalie many times, her goal posts were to thank for a handful of shots and the rest of shots did not make it into the back of the net (or in less technical terms she saved many shots). Not every play unfolds the way you draw it up, and some might say four goals out of 50-something shots is a bad shooting percentage. Every game is a different scenario, but I think the part of the game that illustrates our strength is our resilience and tenacity. We do not give up on pucks, plays or portions of the game. The only thing one can ask of her teammate is that she fulfills her role. Everyone on Team USA is talented and highly skilled; it makes a great dynamic. With such qualities, our team is in a solid position to get better every day. Continuing to progress towards our end goal is all we can ask for…and maybe a little fun on the way.

Today, we had a steady day of practice and recovery. We prepare to take on Russia tomorrow at 12 p.m. local time! An early morning, but never too early to play with this extraordinary group! Game on, Russia!

You will hear from me after the buzzer,


P.S. Stay tuned for more player profiles in the next blog post. Can’t wait for you to meet everyone on the team!

Selfie eating peanut butter during a NormaTec session Epic fishtail braid by Anne Schleper. I call it the Lob-stah tail!

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