Serdachny on gold-winning goal for Canada at world hockey champs: ‘Special moment’

Just days removed from scoring a gold-medal-winning overtime goal that was about as dramatic as any hockey player could hope for in their career, Edmonton-raised Danielle Serdachny reflected on the dreamlike moment.
“It was a pretty special moment for me,” she told Global News from New York, where she attends Colgate University and majors in economics. “I would say I was pretty in shock initially.“Obviously you’re celebrating with the team, but (also) still trying to process what’s going on.”The final for the 2024 women’s world hockey championship was a riveting game played in Utica, N.Y., on Sunday that saw Canada exact revenge on its United States rivals with a 6-5 win on American soil.“That was my first time winning gold with the senior national team, so a super exciting moment,” Serdachny said. “But (I felt a) lot of emotions, a lot pride, excitement. Story continues below advertisement

“(I was) super grateful to be able to represent my country and win a gold medal with some pretty incredible teammates.”The 22-year-old forward explained how the moment was particularly emotional because her parents were in the arena when she scored the game-winning goal.“Both my parents have had a huge impact on me as a player and person,” Serdachny said. “I can’t thank them both enough.“A lot of the times when I didn’t believe in myself, they were always the ones there picking me up and allowing me to believe in myself. … To share that special moment with them was incredible.”Serdachny’s goal on Sunday came 5:16 into overtime when she put the puck past U.S. goaltender Aerin Frankel.“(Our team was) on the tail end of a power play, and the crowd was getting pretty loud with the ‘USA’ chants, considering that they pretty much killed the penalty off,” she recalled. “So we just had a bit of a zone entry and I was just trying to get in front of the goalie’s eyes to give (teammate Erin) Ambrose a good shot at scoring.“The puck actually ended up hitting me and kind of bounced to my backhand so I just did my best to tap it in.”
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Danielle’s father, Steve Serdachny, said he and his wife Deb returned home to Edmonton on Monday night but are still buzzing about what happened.

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“It was just an amazing game (and) it was an electric atmosphere,” he told Global News while on the ice at a rink where he works as a hockey skills coach. “It was an edge-of-your-seat, end-to-end kind of game.“(It’s) nice to see your kid score a big one like that. … It’s kind of surreal to see where she is on the world stage.”

Steve Serdachny speaks to Global News on April 16, 2024.

Global News

Steve noted where he and his wife were sitting made the goal even more awesome.“It happened almost right in front of us,” he said. “We were kind of in shock. Story continues below advertisement

“What an amazing experience — first and foremost to watch Team Canada win and beat the (United) States.”Steve spent years working for the Edmonton Oilers as a hockey skills coach. Danielle said because of her parents and siblings, she was “consistently growing up around” hockey: “watching it, playing it, supporting my siblings who all play.”

Team Canada’s Danielle Serdachny overlooks the new exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The Hockey Hall of Fame opened an exhibit dedicated to the trailblazers of the women’s game chronicling their remarkable journey spanning more than 130 years. Over 100 artifacts will be installed to tell their story.


Danielle said getting back to university shortly after winning the gold medal Sunday has been an interesting adjustment.“I still haven’t kind of fully processed what happened, but I’m happy to be back here with my friends and share that experience with them,” she said.

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“To come back and have to stay caught up with school is pretty hilarious but I’m doing my best to stay with it and graduate here in May.” Story continues below advertisement

Danielle Serdachny spoke to Global News via video-conferencing call on April 16, 2024.

Zoom/Global News

Danielle said she hopes to be selected by a club at the Professional Women’s Hockey League Draft in June.The first-ever PWHL game was played in January and already the women’s professional league has made headlines for the level of play it offers and for how many fans it has been able to attract to its games.“How they’ve been able to inspire and grow is just so special,” Danielle said.“If I was able to hear my name called and potentially play in that league, I think that would be a great opportunity and something I’d really look forward to.”Danielle said she believes the PWHL is offering “something sustainable” when it comes to professional hockey for women, and she’s enjoyed following the league’s inaugural season and getting to know some of its players who were also her teammates on Team Canada. Story continues below advertisement

Canada’s Danielle Serdachny (92) celebrates the goal by teammate Marie-Philip Poulin, not shown, over United States goaltender Aerin Frankel (31) during second period gold medal hockey action at the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship in Utica, N.Y., Sunday, April 14, 2024.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Danielle’s father has also kept a close eye on the PWHL this year.“I’ve watched a bunch of the games and it’s amazing hockey,” Steve said. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for female hockey (players), … just to have an opportunity to continue your career.“What an amazing thing for sport, for female hockey.”— with files from Slav Kornik, Global News

Hockey culture shift: Women’s dreams ‘come true’ as PWHL holds first draft

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