One of the most compelling moments of the year in hockey, the weeding of legendary competitors Gillian Apps and Meghan Duggan tugged at the heartstrings of fans. Making national news in Canada, becoming more than just a sporting story, the impact was akin to a celebrity wedding.
Saying their “I do’s” at a farm in Maine, two of the bridesmaids were among notable figures in modern women’s ice hockey. Brianna Decker, a teammate of Duggan with the Wisconsin Badgers, Boston Blades, Boston Pride and US national team (including the gold medal victory at the 2018 Winter Games) was joined by Hayley Moore, who is currently serving as the Deputy Commissioner of the NWHL.
Adding to the magnitude of the wedding was the fact that Apps and Duggan spent over a decade on opposite ends of the biggest rivalry in women’s ice hockey. Hailing from the Greater Toronto Area, Apps captured three gold medals at the Winter Games for Canada. Celebrated as the granddaughter of Syl Apps, the former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, she quickly became one of the most notable Canadians in female hockey.
Raised near Boston, Meghan Duggan has established herself as one of the most influential American-born players of the decade. With a long list of accomplishments, from the Patty Kazmaier Award and the NCAA Frozen Four, to a Clarkson Cup title and numerous IIHF world championships, the last 18 months have solidified her iconic standing, culminating with Winter Games gold at PyeongChang 2018, the first triumph for the US in 20 years.
Although the gold medal attained at said Games, represented the holy grail of Duggan’s career, the emotion of the day and the achievement establishing a lifetime of memories, it came with surprise to casual fans when a September tweet from Duggan included the statement “Greatest Day of my Life.”
Understandably, the wedding ceremony to Apps represented the crowning achievement, superseding the golden milestone. In addition, there was a significant cultural meaning, as the love between these two icons of the ice made rivalries evaporate. Worth noting, USA Hockey showed their gracious support, also going to twitter with a heartwarming message, it added to the social media phenomenon that saw their wedding picture become a twitter moment. As both American and Canadian hockey fans displayed their incredible support throughout social media, it has redefined the essence of teamwork, as Apps and Duggan now became teammates for life.