Olympic gold medalist DeCosta 'thrilled' that USA Hockey, women's team reach agreement

The news brings a smile to the face of two-time Olympic Medalist Sara Decosta-Hayes. (WJAR)

The two-week standoff is over, as USA Hockey announced Tuesday night that the women's national team has signed a four-year contract.

The players dispute was based on their perception of fair wages, along with equal support for youth team development, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, marketing and publicity.

The news brings a smile to the face of two-time Olympic Medalist Sara Decosta-Hayes.

"I am thrilled. I think it is so important for the girls to play in the world championship -- and what they've done for women sports, not only women's ice hockey, but women sports in general,” said DeCosta-Hayes, who grew up in Warwick. “So, to hear that they came to an agreement last night -- I was thrilled, I've been speaking with a bunch of my teammates from the ‘98 and a 2002 Olympics and we all can't be more excited for the girls.”

DeCosta-Hayes told NBC 10 News that her 2002 team actually tried the same thing, but they were not successful.

"We did, and we actually tried to do something similar in what the girls did in 2000, and it was difficult. It's a scary thing,” she said. “These girls are extremely brave for what they did. It was tough because the social media is so powerful now. We did not have that back then. So, the girls through social media gain so much encouragement and support throughout the world,"

The U.S. Women's team has won gold in six of the last eight world championships and have medaled in every Olympics since women's hockey became an Olympic sport in 1998.

The world championships tournament starts Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.

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