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Team USA’s Brianna Decker to miss remainder of Olympics

Brianna Decker had to be stretchered off the ice Thursday. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Team USA star forward Brianna Decker will miss the rest of the Olympics, USA Hockey informed ESPN on Thursday.

Decker had to be stretchered off the ice midway through the first period of Team USA’s first game against Finland on Thursday. She got tangled up with Finnish defender Ronja Savolainen behind the Finnish net and came down awkwardly. Due to a lack of fans in attendance, her screams could be heard through the broadcast as they echoed through the arena.

The assistant captain was later seen standing in crutches with a walking boot on her left leg as she watched the U.S. defeat Finland 5-2.

The injury is a major blow to the United States’ chances of winning a second straight Olympic gold medal. In 146 games for the national team, the 30-year-old has 170 points, including nine in the last 10 games.

Abby Roque moved into Decker’s spot alongside Alex Carpenter and Amanda Kessel.

Team USA did not bring a taxi squad of reserve players to the Olympics in the event of sickness or player injuries. According to Alex Azzi of NBC Sports, Olympic team GM Katie Million said there was a “very small” window to bring in alternate players.

“But obviously that’s a worst-case scenario. We’re preparing for every scenario, but hopefully we don’t have to do that,” Million said at the time.

Decker’s was the second injury of the day after Canadian forward Melodie Daoust did not return after being checked into the boards during Canada’s 12-1 rout of Switzerland.