Members of the U.S. women’s hockey team make less money than their Canadian rivals.

Canadian players not only have access to a larger pool of funds, but Hockey Canada is providing funding for five developmental players in addition to funding its 23-player roster, the Associated Press reported Thursday. In comparison, USA Hockey limits its funding to 23 players.

The report comes after a long battle between American players and USA Hockey over the benefits and provisions in their new contract.

A source familiar with the negotiation process told Just Women’s Sports that U.S. players tried to get similar developmental funding, but USA Hockey refused to cover the expense. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity due to a confidentiality clause in the U.S. contract.

In addition, Canadian players receive a percentage of ticket revenue from the annual Rivalry Series games played in Canada. There’s no comparable revenue sharing agreement in the U.S. contract.

The NHL is providing some funding to U.S. players as part of the new deal, something the league initially began doing following the 2017 boycott, per the AP report. For reference, the NHL has given USA Hockey money for the boys-only national team developmental program (NTDP) for decades.

Canada’s contract, which lasts just one year, went into effect on Oct. 1, 2022, and was announced in December. The U.S. contract, which lasts for three years, was never announced but was signed in January. The old U.S. contract was initially set to expire in August 2022 — right in the middle of the 2022 World Championship — but the two sides agreed to an extension ahead of the competition.

U.S. players have long been critical of USA Hockey’s treatment and promotion of the women’s team, in addition to the resources and funding provided to the country’s female athletes. In 2017, U.S. players threatened to boycott that year’s World Championship unless USA Hockey came to the table and provided the women’s team with more equitable funding and support. According to the AP, while the pool of money allocated to U.S. players has increased since 2017, it has not kept up with the pace of inflation.

Both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey consider players independent contractors, not employees. As a result, players are unable to collectively bargain or unionize. That’s a major difference from the soccer world, where both the U.S. and Canadian teams are unionized. Canada’s national soccer team is currently embroiled in a dispute with Canada Soccer over its own collective bargaining agreement.

U.S. hockey player Abbey Murphy entered the IIHF history books on Friday.

Murphy, 20, scored just seven seconds into the United States’ group play win over Switzerland at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Brampton, Ontario.

After Abby Roque won the opening faceoff for the U.S., Murphy skated by two Swiss defenders and managed to get a wide angle shot past Swiss goalie Saskia Maurer.

The previous record for fastest goal in an IIHF Women’s World Championship game was 13 seconds, set by Germany’s Maren Valenti in a consolation round game against Switzerland on April 17, 1994.

Murphy, a member of the 2022 silver-medal winning U.S. Olympic team, just concluded her sophomore season at the University of Minnesota. She made her senior world championship debut in 2021, but was cut from the U.S. roster ahead of last summer’s world championship tournament in Denmark.

All told, eight different American players scored in the 9-1 victory over Switzerland: Caroline Harvey (2), Murphy, Hannah Bilka, Becca Gilmore, Abby Roque, Amanda Kessel, Cayla Barnes, and Gabrielle Hughes. For both Hughes and Gilmore, it marked their first goals as members of the U.S. senior national team.

Rahel Enzler, a junior at the University of Maine, scored Switzerland’s lone goal. It was the first time Switzerland scored against the U.S. women’s hockey team in world championship competition since April 6, 2008.

Also on Friday at Women’s Hockey Worlds, Canadian living legend Marie Philip-Poulin scored her 100th and 101st career goals during her team’s 5-1 win over Czechia.

The U.S. and Canada are both 2-0-0 in group play and are likely to meet twice during the world championship tournament (in the final game of group play and then again in the knockout round). Canada is aiming to win its third straight world championship title in Brampton.

Veteran defender Kacey Bellamy is retiring from the United States women’s national team, USA Hockey announced Tuesday.

The 34-year-old has had an illustrious career as a three-time Olympian and seven-time world champion, the latter of which ranks second all-time in U.S. history.

Most notably, Bellamy was part of the historic 2018 team that defeated Canada in a shootout to win gold at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games. The U.S. team’s gold-medal run ended a 20-year drought in the event.

In a statement released through USA Hockey, Bellamy reflected on her long and storied career.

“Being able to represent my country for the past 15 years has been such a privilege,” she said. “Before every game, I would look at the USA crest before putting the jersey on.”

Bellamy added that, although retiring was a difficult decision, she is ready to step away from the sport and start her next chapter.

USA Hockey will also have to move into a new chapter without Bellamy as the national team prepares for the world championships in August and the Olympics next year.