Deadline passes for U.S. women's hockey players to end their boycott

Faced with a Thursday afternoon deadline, members of the powerhouse U.S. women’s hockey team have chosen to continue their boycott of the upcoming world championships.

The players, who announced their decision to sit out the tournament earlier this week, were given until 2 p.m. to notify USA Hockey if they had changed their minds.

“We were aware of USA Hockey's deadline and have allowed it to pass,” they said in a joint statement. “We are focused on the issue of equitable support and stand by our position. We continue to be grateful for the encouragement and loyalty of our fans.”

Led by stars such as Hilary Knight, Amanda Kessel and Meghan Duggan, the team has been negotiating for what characterize as compensation and funding commensurate to what the men’s program receives.

USA Hockey said Wednesday that financial support for the women has recently improved and that the team receives sufficient resources to be successful.

Officials also vowed to field an alternate team for the world championships later this month in Plymouth, Mich., if necessary.

The American women have won six of the past eight world championships and have medaled in every Olympics since their sport was added in 1998.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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