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Team USA gathers at mid ice after defeating Sweden 6-1 during a 2014 Winter Olympics women's semifinal ice hockey game at Shayba Arena, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

USA Women's Hockey Inspiring WNY HS Girls

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The US Women's Hockey Team is one win away from gold in Sochi. Halfway around the world, high school girls playing varsity hockey say they're inspired.

"I was just at a tournament, and we've been watching the games with our coach, and he's been teaching us pointers," says Jordan Roetzer, who plays for the Williamsville team. She's been watching the tournament closely, and she's not alone.

Kaeli Mathias and Grace Simmons both hit the ice when the Western New York Girls Varsity Federation began in 2010. "I was in 7th grade and it was so scary, but it was so exciting," says Simmons. "Seeing (Team USA) dominate in Sochi is so amazing, and watching the interviews with them saying it's an amazing experience, proves there's something to shoot for after high school hockey."

Mathias says she's been picking up skills she wants to improve by watching Team USA. She says she's thrilled with the growth of the Girls Varsity Federation since it began four years ago. "We're adding more teams and more schools, and it's becoming more competitive. It shows it's a worthwhile investment to have girls have the ability to play, especially since it's growing all over the country," says Mathias.

Team USA plays Canada for the gold Thursday.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BuffaloWestern New YorkWilliamsville
People : Grace SimmonsJordan RoetzerKaeli Matthias
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