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Wisconsin women’s hockey: former Badger and Team USA captain Meghan Duggan is retiring

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The Olympic gold medal winner is retiring after 14 years with the national team.

NCAA Women’s Frozen Four: Wisconsin Badgers v Mercyhurst Lakers Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers have an illustrious hockey history and have long sent players to compete internationally for both Canada and the United States. One of the most decorated international hockey players of all time, former Badger Meghan Duggan is hanging up her skates after a 14-year international career.

Duggan, who was Team USA’s captain, played in 137 games for the U.S. women’s national team, scoring 40 goals and dishing out 35 assists. She won seven gold medals at the IIHF world championships and was part of three Olympic teams, winning silver in 2010 and 2014 and finally winning gold in 2018, the first time the Americans had won gold in two decades.

“Hockey literally changed my life,” Duggan wrote in an essay published by ESPN on Tuesday. “I put on a pair of skates as a toddler and grew up through the sport. It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life to play for Team USA. While being an athlete will always be part of my identity, I am ready for the next chapter.”

Her career in Madison was so impressive I am not going to try and sum it up for you and instead just copy her list of accomplishments and statistics from her player profile page on uwbadgers.com:

All-time leader in career points (238) and career plus/minus (+164) ... tied for program lead in career power-play goals (31) ... ranks second in career goals (108), assists (130), shots (578) and shorthanded goals (5) ... tied for fifth in career game-winning goals (15) ... ranks fourth in career penalties (70) ... ranks fourth (39 in 2010-11) and tied for eighth (26 in 2006-07) all-time for goals in a single season ... ranks first (87 in 2010-11) and 10th (56 in 2008-09) all-time for points in a single season ... tied for first (48 in 2010-11) all-time for assists in a single season ... tied for third (11 in 2010-11) and tied for ninth (8 in 2006-07) for power-play goals in a single season ... ranks first (+69 in 2010-11) and eighth (+46 in 2006-07) all-time for plus/minus ratings in a single season ... tied for first all-time with three shorthanded goals in a single season (2010-11) ... ranks fifth (178 in 2010-11) for shots in a single season ... tied for sixth all-time with six game-winning goals in a single season (2010-11)

Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner (2010-11) ... RBK Hockey/AHCA Division I first-team All-American (2010-11) ... WCHA Player of the Year (2010-11) ... WCHA Scoring Champion (2010-11) ... WCHA Final Face-off All-Tournament Team (2010-11) ... NCAA Frozen Four Co-MVP and All-Tournament Team (2010-11) ... All-WCHA First Team (2007-08, 2010-11) ... All-WCHA Second Team (2006-07) ... All-WCHA Third Team (2008-09) ... All-WCHA Rookie Team (2006-07) ... WCHA Rookie of the Year (2006-07) ... team captain (2010-11) ... assistant captain (2008-09) ... three-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week (Dec. 2, 2008; Jan. 26, 2011; Feb. 16, 2011) ... five-time WCHA Rookie of the Week (2006-07) ... USCHO.com Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 23, 2006) ... Team’s Jeff Sauer Most Dedicated Player award recipient (2010-11) ... two-time Team’s Offensive Player of the Year (2010-11, 2007-08) ... Team’s Rookie of the Year (2006-07)

While she will be remembered as a transcendent player and American hero her greatest impact may be felt off the ice. In 2017, before the world championship, Duggan was instrumental in securing a new contract for the women’s players that increased pay for the players and promised a larger investment in the team as well as girl’s youth programs.

“Our sport is the big winner today,” Duggan said in the statement. “We stood up for what we thought was right, and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”

In her essay on ESPN, which you should really read, Duggan notes that securing that contract is the proudest moment of her career. She and her wife, Canadian hockey star Gillian Apps, welcomed their son to the world back in February and Duggan mentioned that she can’t wait to be a full-time mom. She also says she wants to stay working in hockey and maybe work in the front office of an NHL team.

Congratulatins to Duggan on an impressive career and an even more impressive legacy.