SPOONER, WI — The 2022 Winter Olympics have started and The USA Women's Hockey Team has already played their first game against Finland. Yes, they won with a score of 5-1. In a bizarre turn of events after the team celebrated and left the ice, a review of a goal via video showed that Finland did score another goal.
Even more upsetting was the Olympic ending injury for assistant captain Brianna Decker during the first period of the game. Click here for video.
Brianna Decker plays forward and was born in Dousman, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin Madison where she assisted in winning the 2011 National Title for Wisconsin. Brianna is a three time Olympian and founder of the Brianna Decker Endowment for Girls Hockey. Brianna started the endowment fund in 2018 that provides grants to 8U and 10U female hockey programs within the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) and now across the United States.
The Spooner Area Youth Hockey Association (SAYHA), which is a member of WAHA, was granted $2,500 from the Brianna Decker Endowment in 2021. The monies from the grant were used to help cover ice costs at the Spooner Civic Center for bimonthly practices for the Hayward Girls Co-op, which SAYHA is a part of. Girls play with teams made up of girls through the Hayward Co-op that reaches from Ashland to Barron. WAHA also ran girls' 8U jamborees throughout Wisconsin and Hayward and Spooner teamed up welcoming 24 girls to the wonderful sport of girls hockey in fall of 2021.
Spooner 8u girls participating in a 8u jamboree.
After the 2021 fall 8u Girls Jamboree in Spooner Brianna Decker held a Zoom call with the girls that attended. Brianna said that she decided to start the endowment due wanting to support girls hockey because she considers it the best team sport around and it has taught her so much. Brianna also stated that she played mostly with boys teams in her youth and she wanted an opportunity to assist with growing women's hockey across the nation. Brianna also went upstairs during the call and got her Olympic GOLD medal out for viewing after one of the girls asked her if they could see it.
CBS Morning News is doing a story on Brianna Decker and her Endowment Fund that will air on Tuesday February 8th between 8:30 and 9:00am. Rumor has it that the Spooner 8U Girls may get a shout out.
SAYHA and the Hayward Girls' Co-op wish Brianna the best and quick healing! And, if you ever want to jump on a Zoom call again, we are ready!