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ROMEOVILLE – Girls and boys across the country are finding excitement – and inspiration – in the 2022 Winter Olympics.  And, for a group of girls in Chicago’s western suburbs, the connection is extra special.

With their dark and light blue jerseys, they stayed on one end of the ice to run through some drills on this Thursday night.

Chad Green, Hockey Director of the Huskies Hockey Club, ran players through some skating, passing, and shooting drills over the course of the short workout at Canlan Ice Arena. While this happened in the western suburbs, it’s safe to say these young players have their eyes on Beijing as well.

This group of girls hockey players on the Huskies team has been watching the United States Women’s national hockey team during their run in the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. Team USA advanced all the way to the gold medal game before losing to Canada 3-2 early Thursday morning.

Team USA has a Chicago-area feel with five players calling the suburbs home; Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights), Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park), Jesse Compher (Northbrook), Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove) and Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove).

That means something to these Huskies players, who are starting their journeys in hockey and are a part of a growing trend in the sport.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey released their statistics on the number of girls in hockey and found that participation had increased 34%, with 83,000 women taking part in the sport.

WGN News Now visited the Huskies Hockey Club in Romeoville to talk to almost a dozen players about how Team USA inspires them, which players on the team they look up to, their experience playing on a co-ed team, what they enjoy the most about playing the sport, and why those who are curious should give the sport a try.

You can watch the story in the video above.