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U.S. women's hockey team takes New York

2018 Olympic gold medalists savor bright lights, big city on whirlwind celebration tour

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The gold-medal winning United States women's Olympic hockey team has been on top of the world for almost two weeks, and Monday they were on top of a famous New York City landmark.

All 23 members of the team, which defeated Canada in a dramatic shootout at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics for its first gold medal since 1998, got a birds-eye view of New York from the top of the Empire State Building before heading to the NHL Store NYC to sign autographs and pose for pictures with hundreds of fans.

Tweet from @EmpireStateBldg: Fresh off the ice and straight to the top of the world! The #Olympic gold-medal winning women���s @usahockey team celebrated their win atop our 86th floor Observatory today! #TeamUSA #GOLD

"It's awesome, you're in your element," said forward Amanda Kessel, a Wisconsin native, who played for the Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women's Hockey League of celebrating with her team in her adopted home. "Crazy. Completely unexpected. I didn't think we'd get this much attention. It's been humbling to see how America has gotten behind us."

The women were also scheduled to appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Monday night. They also will open the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Tuesday. Several members of the team will drop the puck at Prudential Center in Newark, prior to the Montreal Canadiens-New Jersey Devils game Tuesday. Others will drop the puck at Madison Square Garden prior to the Winnipeg Jets-New York Rangers game.

"Not much sleep, we've been all over the place but all for a great reason," captain Meghan Duggan said. "It's so awesome to feel the warm welcome from the US, every city we've been to has been fantastic celebrating our team. Can't ask for anything better. We've been really enjoying it."

Tweet from @NHLstoreNYC: The Golden Girls are in the house! Welcome U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team! ��������

Forward Hilary Knight, who had a goal in the gold medal game, made a cameo on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.

"I had pizza before going out [on stage], and I was walking out to the stage and was like 'Oh my gosh.' I wouldn't eat pizza before hockey, and my nerves were going again," Knight said. "Probably not a great choice. It's the same adrenaline rush before you take the world stage. ... SNL was awesome."

And what trip to New York City would be complete without a picture with a yellow taxi?

Tweet from @HilaryKnight: Cab surfin the concrete jungle. #NewYork #TeamUSA #Golden

Tweet from @JocelyneUSA17: Don���t mind us New York City! #USWNT #Golden

Some of the players also did a little shopping. Defenseman Emily Pfalzer and goalie Maddie Rooney posed for selfies and showed off their gold medals, even letting some lucky fans wear them. Forward Kelly Pannek worked the cash register.

Tweet from @davidsatriano: Kelly Pannek (@KPan19) running the register at the @NHLstoreNYC. @usahockey women���s gold medal team in the house.

The entire team was on hand at the 2018 Coors Light Stadiums Series Game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday. They were also guests of honor at the Los Angeles Kings game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 26, before returning home to Tampa to drop the puck at the Buffalo Sabres-Tampa Bay Lightning game Feb. 28

"It's a blast but at the same time, I don't think any of us has slept much because you just want to get out and celebrate with people so we've been all across the country," said forward Gigi Marvin, who scored in the shootout against Canada. "Every time I see a highlight of the game, I just freak out."

Pfalzer, who won the Isobel Cup with the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL last season, said she was excited to hear from a Chicago Blackhawks star.

"Patrick Kane tweeted at a couple of us which was pretty cool," she said. "He's from Buffalo, I'm from Buffalo so I watched him play growing up and he's someone I always loved watching.

"We touched down in L.A., did "The Ellen" Show", went to Tampa, went to D.C. for the Stadium Series and now we are in NYC. Went to the Empire State Building this morning, the NY Post, looking forward to going to Jimmy Fallon after this so it's awesome."

Video: Dunkin Donuts Breakaways: U.S. Women's team honored

Marvin said she hasn't been able to read all the tweets and well-wishes via social media but that one stood out.

"One of my teammates told me that Britney Spears quoted Jocelyne (Lamoureax-Davidson) because of her shootout move because it was called the 'Oops, I did it again,' and I thought that was kind of fun. I don't think it's hit us yet, the impact that it's had across the country yet."

-- staff writer Pat Pickens contributed

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