Hilary Knight skates with Anaheim Ducks at practice

Hilary+Knight+USOC+100+Days+Out+Celebration+7z2Pf1gzNPQlIt was a dream come true for two-time U.S. Olympian Hilary Knight, who took the ice with the Anaheim Ducks yesterday.

The organization approached Knight, who won an NCAA title at Wisconsin and has two silver medals as part of the U.S. team at the Vancouver and Sochi Olympic games, last month about participating in a practice with the team. She eagerly agreed.

“I’m one of those women who just like to push boundaries,” Knight said. “I’ve got a frame and stature that can blend in sometimes with some of the guys, and it’s a great opportunity to go out there and skate with them.”

Knight, who boasts a 5’9” frame, seemed to fit in perfectly with the squad. She joined the team for the first 25 minutes of practice during skating and passing drills, and returned later on for 20 minutes of shooting.

“I was really pleasantly surprised at her skill,” Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Once she got over the jitters, I think she was really good. I’d be pretty nervous if I walked into an NHL room and had to practice with them, and I thought she handled it really well.”

The practice appearance was a great chance for Knight to help grow the sport and raise awareness for women’s hockey. While robust in North America, growth of the sport is slower to grab hold abroad.

“I want to grow the sport, and this is a step in doing that,” Knight said. “I want to get another invite in the future.”

As for next steps, Knight hopes to one day play in an NHL exhibition game—something Boudreau and defenseman Ben Lovejoy wouldn’t be surprised to see happen one day.

“She is clearly the best player in the world right now,” said Lovejoy, an avid fan of women’s hockey. “In her element against her peers, she is clearly dominant. She truly did fit in.”

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