It’s been a little over a week since the United States women’s hockey team lost a heartbreaker 3-2 to Team Canada in the gold medal game at the 2022 Winter Olympics. They came home with a silver medal, but there was one other bright spot throughout the duration of Team USA’s run. That was the play of Hilary Knight. She led her team in goals and points, while Hannah Brandt stole the assist category for the United States.
Even in the final minutes of that gold medal game, there was no give-up from Knight or her teammates. She not only had a great performance, but she also set a new record and tied some others. She’s been in four Olympics thus far and has been an important part of Team USA since the beginning of her career.
Knight’s 2022 Olympic Performance
In seven games, Knight scored six goals and tallied four assists for 10 points despite starting out slow in the scoring department. She didn’t register her first goal until the second game of the tournament against the Russian Olympic Committee. That goal opened her scoring for the rest of the tournament. In the next game against Switzerland, she tallied the first and third goals of the game to put her team up 3-0. Team USA went on to win that game 8-0.
She was held pointless in their first meeting with Canada but got back at it against Czechia. After going down a goal in the second period, Knight responded with USA’s first goal under a minute later. Her tying goal propelled her team to score the next three and win the game 4-1. She kept her goal-scoring going against Finland, where she tallied the second goal of the game after an assist on her teammate Cayla Barnes’ first goal. They also won that game 4-1 and advanced to play for the gold.
Their final game against Canada was tough, but Knight gave her team hope in the second period. They were down 3-0 when she scored to get them on the board. Late in the third, her teammate Amanda Kessel added another goal to get them within one, but they ran out of time and lost 3-2. Knight was crucial in every game she played and helped the Americans earn the silver medal.
Knight’s Past Olympic Contributions
Knight has taken part in the past four Olympic tournaments in Beijing, PyeongChang, Sochi, and Vancouver, all of which were successful appearances for her. In PyeongChang and Beijing, she tied for second place in points while in Sochi she tied for first place in points. Vancouver was her very first tournament yet she still managed to tie for third place in points.
In Vancouver, she had one goal and seven assists in five games. She tied for first with the most assists amongst her USA teammates. She was also the youngest player on the team at 20 years old, and it was just the beginning of her Olympic journey. Her team took the silver medal in Vancouver, and four years later they played in Sochi. She jumped from third place to a share for first place in points amongst her teammates with six.
She tallied three goals and three assists. All three goals came in the preliminary round while one of her assists came in the gold medal game. Once again her team went on to win the silver medal for the second time in a row. The next round of the Olympics took the team to PyeongChang and that’s where they won their first gold medal in 20 years. Knight scored two goals and tallied an assist for three points in that tournament. One of her two goals was the first of the gold medal game against Canada. She had a chance in the shootout, but her shot was stopped. However, her team did prevail for the gold, the only one they’ve won while she’s been on the team.
Knight Sets Records
Knight has been a part of Team USA for over two decades and has become quite the fixture among the forwards. She tied the record for her fourth Olympic appearance and set another record later in the games. Before their final game against Canada, she had taken part in 21 career games at the Olympics, tied for the most among American women. She set the new record at 22 when she played in the gold medal game. She took over second place for most career goals amongst American women with 12. She remains in second place for overall points at 27, five points behind first place. It wasn’t only Olympic records she broke. Last summer during the World Championships, she also took down the scoring record set by Cammi Granato.
With all of these records set, it shows that Knight has established herself as one of the top American women hockey players. She sits among names such as Jenny Potter, Natalie Darwitz, and Angela Ruggiero. At 32 years old, it’s hard to tell if this was Knight’s last Olympics or if she has one more in her. She’ll be 36 by the time 2026 rolls around, but if she can play like she did this year, she could help take Team USA to gold once again.
Mariah Holland is a contributing Minnesota Wild writer for THW. She’s been covering the Wild at THW since October of 2020 and specializes in game takeaways and weekly check-ins. She is always looking for different angles to cover the Wild and dig deeper into the stories surrounding the team to help fans connect on a more personal level and to keep an eye on the latest follow her on Twitter @MariahEStark.