Kendall Coyne Schofield and Team USA finished second to Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics. (Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Team USA is looking ahead after their heartbreaking loss to Canada in Thursday’s gold medal game at the Beijing Olympics.

Following the loss, star Hilary Knight told reporters, “It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking. To come up short, it’s tough. It definitely stings. It hurts. It feels like you let our country down. But the takeaway is the level of fight and the character that we have in the room to continue to try to drive and push the pace.”

U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schofield echoed Knight’s sentiments, focusing on the progression of women’s hockey even in the face of defeat.

“I know there’s a lot of young girls watching back home, and I hope women’s hockey cannot be silent after these two weeks,” Coyne Schofield said. “They need to be able to see themselves in us, and it can’t be silent. It can’t not be visible because it’s not the Olympic Games. We need to continue to push for visibility, we need to continue to fight for women’s hockey, because it’s not good enough. It can’t end after the Olympic Games.”

National team players have long been at the forefront of evolving the sport, with Knight and company boycotting the 2017 IIHF world championships and pressuring USA Hockey for a more just and equitable contract.

At the league level, athletes have also driven the success of the PWHPA, putting on popular showcases with limited funds.

The Premier Hockey Federation also received a recent injection of resources and investment, signaling hope for a sport where progress and development has often sputtered despite momentum.