ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The gold-medal winning United States women's Olympic hockey team was honored during the second intermission of the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.
Twenty-two of the 23 players were in attendance and drew a long ovation from the sellout crowd at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium for their shootout win over Canada in the gold medal game at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
[RELATED: Complete NHL Stadium Series coverage]
Video: Dunkin Donuts Breakaways: US Women team honored
"An incredible whirlwind," USA forward Haley Skarupa, a Maryland native, said. "You can't put words to it. It's been such a surreal experience and a dream come true for all of us."
Forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson drew special notice for the spectacular, and deciding, goal she scored against Canada in the shootout. Even NHL players like Capitals forward T.J. Oshie have lauded Lamoureux-Davidson's move, which she says is gratifying.
"I think the next step for women's hockey in the next three years is having one league in North America," Lamoureux-Davidson said. "I have no stake in the game. I don't play in the [Canadian Women's Hockey League] or the [National Women's Hockey League] so I have no personal preference. I just think for women's hockey to continue its traction is to have one league. Whether that's a merger or it's an entire new league that supports both the U.S. and Canada in one league is going to be really important in the next season to somehow make that happen."
Video: Jamie Hersch interviews Megan Duggan
Before the game, the team members spent 90 minutes signing autographs, participating in skills challenges and showing off their gold medals at The PreGame, the official fan festival of the Stadium Series.
Goalie Maddie Rooney took pictures with fans, including a group of smiling Midshipmen from the Naval Academy. She also met with a pair of Maryland-based goalies, Leopold Hylton, 9, and Kaiden Whaley, 9.
Hylton was filling in as a backup goalie for the Georgetown Titans in a game against the Hagerstown Bulldogs on Dec. 3 even though he'd never played the position before. Hylton gave up seven goals in the first period.
Video: Follow the US Women's team around DC, Annapolis
Whaley, playing goal for Hagerstown, felt for his fellow goalie and in between periods gave him a quick tutorial. The crowd was so moved by his gesture that it cheered for both goalies after every save the rest of the game. Hylton allowed three goals over the final two periods.
On Saturday, Rooney chatted with the two boys about their experience and took pictures.
"I got a jersey signed and a puck signed," Whaley said. "It's pretty cool. I've never met an Olympian before."
Video: US Women's Hockey team reacts to pregame fly over