2022 Winter Olympics

Team U.S.A. Women's Hockey Team Inspires Local Players

NBC Universal, Inc.

Lots of people and local athletes cheered on Team U.S.A. as the women's hockey team battled it out on the ice.

For the past 10 years, Shelby Little has been competing and building her skills as a hockey player. Little is the captain for the Avon-Southington Co-Op Nighthawks.

"It makes me want to work harder and just push myself to be the best," said Little. "Every time I step on the ice, I just love it, I love the feeling of skating around."

Little and other players like Simsbury Girls Varsity hockey player Nicole Loftus have been paying attention and rooting for Team U.S.A.'s women's hockey team.

"I love the Olympics," said Loftus. "They're all like really fast and they like get on the puck really quickly."

The two players and their teams went head-to-head on Wednesday night in a cross-town rivalry.

Both their coaches are also paying attention to the Olympics and told NBC Connecticut they believe the games give players the chance to dream big.

"We don't have as many opportunities to see women's hockey at the highest level, it's like once every four years," said David Olechnn, head coach for Simsbury girls varsity hockey team. "We are entering this final stage of our season, playoffs are around the corner and seeing what the U.S. women are doing, it's pretty incredible."

Michael Carrera is the head coach for Avon-Southington Co-Op Nighthawks and told NBC Connecticut his team enjoys watching and learning from some of the best in the sport.

"To see other girl players play at that level, it's pretty easy to get them excited about that and watching the Olympics," said Carrera.

The players told NBC Connecticut that having the chance to compete in the midst of the Olympics is a great opportunity to add to their game while striving for their dreams.

“It makes it seem like I have a chance to play in the Olympics and get even better," said Little.

Some of the hockey players told NBC Connecticut they were going to stay up on Wednesday night to watch the game.

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