BURLINGTON – It was 14 years ago that Team USA made history, shocking Canada and winning the first ever Olympic gold for women’s hockey with a 3-1 win in the decisive game. Jenny Schmidgall was on that team, the 19-year-old playing in her first major tournament for her country. Fourteen years later and playing under her married name of Jenny Potter, the 33-year-old is the oldest member of Team USA here in Burlington—and the last active player from ’98 as well.
“I am the oldest,” she confirms wistfully. “It sucks.”
Despite being the oldest, Potter shows no signs of slowing down and has no inclination to stop playing.
“It’s something I enjoy doing. I love playing hockey. I want to get better, but I take it one year at a time.”
These desires lead to one central goal—the 2014 Olympics. “I’d love to make Sochi, but you never know what hurdles might come up in your life, different things might bring you down different paths. Right now, I’m still playing and still enjoying it.”
The ’98 team holds a special place in Potter’s heart, and although she is the last active player from that team, they are a close-knit group.
“I see them all the time at various functions. We try to keep in touch. Sometimes it feels like yesterday when you’re around them, but then sometimes when I’m with the younger kids it seems like a long time ago.”
Here is the complete roster from that first gold-medal team with brief updates of what they are doing now (or recently):
Cammi Granato (captain) — started Golden Dreams for Children Foundation. She also runs a hockey camp in Chicago for young girls during the summer and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
Angela Ruggiero — retired late last year and is focusing on her work with the IOC
Chris Bailey — became a hospital sales consultant
Laurie Baker (-Mutch) — married and moved to Massachusetts where she became the girls’ hockey coach at Browne and Nichols School
Alana Blahoski — taught power skating at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, New York City
Lisa Brown-Miller — lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband and children and is the school quality assistant for the Grand Rapids corporate office of the National Heritage Academies
Karyn Bye (-Dietz) — worked for the Minnesota Wild with its grassroots program and also does colour commentating for the Minnesota Girls State High School Hockey Tournament. She was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2011.
Colleen Coyne — lives in Massachusetts and works as a marketing consultant for a startup software company. She was also elected to USA Hockey’s Executive Committee and serves on the board of directors for Celebrities for Charities.
Sara DeCosta — married with three children, she was a volunteer coach for the women's hockey team at Providence in 2002-03, and later became goaltending coach at Harvard
Tricia Dunn (-Luoma) — settled in Minnesota with husband Todd Luoma and works in pharmaceutical sales
Katie King — became an assistant hockey coach at Boston College in 2006, and a year later became the head coach at BC
Shelley Looney — works as the girl's hockey director for the New Jersey Colonials, an under-18 team
Sue Merz — worked in medical device sales and coaches the Connecticut Polar Bears, a junior team
A.J. Mleczko (-Griswold) — settled in the Boston area with her husband and became a stay-at-home mom
Tara Mounsey — became a nurse practitioner at New England Baptist Hospital and coaches the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Vicki Movsessian (-Lamoriello) — married to Chris Lamoriello, son of New Jersey Devils’ GM, Lou, and settled in Rhode Island raising two children. She is also the founder of the Massachusetts Spitfires, a girls team.
Sarah Tueting — graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in neurobiology and later worked in corporate development for Medtronic
Gretchen Ulion (-Silverman) — graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in history and a masters’ degree in education, and later taught at Pingree School, Massachusetts
Sandra Whyte (-Sweeney) — became a hockey coach at Reading High School in Massachusetts
Ben Smith (coach) — retired and is now a consultant and ambassador for USA Hockey