Former Badger powers Team USA women's hockey toward goals, gold

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Former Badger powers Team USA women's hockey toward goals, gold

By Lance Allan. CREATED Feb 3, 2014

Dousman's Brianna Decker, who played hockey at UW-Madison, now has a shot at Olympic gold.

Decker wears her Badgers colors on her Team USA hockey sweater, and she lives the Wisconsin motto.

"There's a saying, once a Badger, always a Badger," Decker told TODAY'S TMJ4.

That's true for Decker, even if it's hard for her to remember how many Badgers are on the team.

"Having a bunch of us on the team, four of us...or three...four of us, yeah, four of us," said Decker.

"It's been awesome.  We've got a lot of support back in Wisconsin.  A lot of the Badger girls who are on the team have been texting us, telling us good luck and everything.  It's been awesome."

She spoke also of how Team Bucky is playing a big-time leadership role for Team USA.

"Jessie (Vetter), Meghan (Duggan) and Hilary (Knight, all who played at UW), those guys are huge leaders on the team, to make the young guys on the team feel a bit more comfortable."

The Wisconsin contingent also contributes on both sides of the ice.

"We bring a lot of offense, but also great goaltending by Jessie, so it's a good mix."

Decker grew up in Dousman, Wis., the home of the famous Wisconsin State Frog Jump.

"About 1,500 people, pretty supportive.  Everybody's really excited for me to go, knowing somebody who's headed to the Olympics.  I can't wait to show them how much this sport has meant to me."

Growing up with three brothers toughened Brianna up.  Bryan, Ben and Brody will be in Sochi for Brianna.

"All three of my brothers and my parents are going to end up going over there.  They're excited.  They're really proud of me."

The word competitive is an understatement for the 5'4" fireplug.

"That's something I've always dreamed about, not only going to the Olympics, but winning the gold medal.  I have a great opportunity ahead of me.  Hopefully I can get that gold."

Decker says former Badger teammate Hilary Knight keeps things light as the biggest prankster on the team.  Knight fequently puts items in Decker's gloves and skates that she has to fish out.  Now, Team USA hopes that chemistry lesson mines some gold.

Lance Allan

Lance Allan

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