BEIJING (NBCOlympics) — Brianna Decker, one of the U.S. women’s hockey team’s most important players, was taken off the ice on a stretcher midway through the first period of the squad’s first game at the 2022 Winter Olympics Thursday morning.
Decker got tangled up with Finnish defender Ronja Savolainen behind the net, and the two fell awkwardly to the ice. Decker’s left leg appeared to get caught underneath Savolainen, and she remained on the ice until the medical staff placed her on a stretcher and wheeled her to the locker room.
The severity of Decker’s injury is unclear, but it’s been confirmed that she will not return to finish the remainder of the United States’ game against the Finns.
Losing the 30-year-old for an extended period would be a massive blow for this U.S. team as it looks to defend its Olympic title from PyeongChang. She logged three assists in five games for the U.S. in 2018, and in 2014 she averaged over a point per game with two goals and four assists in five contests.