U.S. women’s hockey players enjoying homecoming after gold medal win

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Twenty years after a cereal box changed her life, Meghan Duggan is pictured on one.

When the United States won the gold medal in 1998 at the first Olympics with women’s hockey, an 11-year-old Duggan met Gretchen Ulion and got the forward to autograph her Wheaties box and still has it in her parents’ house and a copy of their photo together with sister Katelyn on her phone. After winning gold at the Pyeongchang Games, the 30-year-old captain is featured on her own cereal box as the attention flows for the latest U.S. women’s hockey champions.

”We’re just taking in the win,” Duggan said at the NHL Stadium Series game at Navy between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs. ”We were out in L.A. on ‘Ellen’ and coming and being a part of all these big NHL games and things like that, we’ve got some stuff coming up in New York City next week, which will be really fun.”

Appearing on the ”Today” show and Ellen DeGeneres’ show and being feted at Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning games and then outdoors at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is an impressive victory tour. The next step is for Duggan, shootout hero Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and their teammates to extend the traditional 15 minutes of fame and sustain the kind of long-lasting stardom that soccer player Mia Hamm, basketball player Lisa Leslie and other previous U.S. Olympic gold medal and World Cup winners were able to generate.

A cereal box is a nice start, and Duggan and several teammates have endorsement deals with Dunkin’ Donuts with more opportunities on the horizon.

”Some of us that are out of college can capitalize on the opportunities,” Monique Lamoureux-Morando said. ”Hopefully exposure for one of us is exposure for all of us and it helps grow the game. If someone gets an amazing opportunity that a lot of people are a part of and get to see, then it benefits all of us.”

Agent Brant Feldman, who represents Duggan and the Lamoureux twins, is trying to get his clients mainstream attention beyond hockey. The U.S. gold medalists are very well-known around hockey, taking photos with Navy Midshipmen and youth players and drawing chants of ”U-S-A! U-S-A!” from tailgating fans in the parking lot Saturday before the NHL Stadium Series game.

U.S. players earned headlines in a non-Olympic year when they threatened to boycott the world championships on home ice and came to an agreement on a better contract with USA Hockey. The deal allows players to make up to $129,000 in Olympic years when combined with contributions from the U.S. Olympic Committee – the kind of living wage previous generations of players couldn’t earn.

”It’s a great step for our sport,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. ”That’s going to help support our team. … Sponsorships, if those come, that’s great and that’s supplemental income, but what we were able to create with USA Hockey is the biggest step.”

The next step for players could include speaking engagements along some more endorsement deals. But they hope for a bigger change: one professional women’s league in North America instead of the competing Canadian Women’s Hockey League and National Women’s Hockey League.

”They currently don’t work together,” Lamoureux-Morando said. ”It’s two completely different entities. So I think moving forward, there needs to be some sort of collaboration, whether they merge or start working together. There needs to move forward in that direction.”

It appears that’s a cause that players want to use their platform to promote. They’d also like to spur further growth of women’s hockey across the U.S. like Ulion and the 1998 team did.

”That team, those girls, lit the fire in my heart to want to compete for my country and to want to play on this team,” Duggan said. ”Fast-forward 20 years to have the opportunity to really inspire the next generation or to have little girls see that photo or see that Kellogg’s cereal box or see what our team did and want to dream big, it fills my heart. It’s why I am who I am and why I’m here today is because of those girls, and we definitely want to have that impact on the next generation.”

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SWhyno

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    Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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    BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

    The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    “That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

    Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

    “It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

    In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

    “It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

    In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

    “We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

    Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

    Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

    Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

    Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

    Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

    TAKE NOTE

    The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

    Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

    UP NEXT

    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

    Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

    The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

    Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

    “We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

    Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

    The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

    Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

    Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

    The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

    Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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    TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

    Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

    Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

    Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.