A four-time Olympic medalist, Angela Ruggiero was a dominating force on the blueline throughout her 15-plus-year career with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
She has played more games (256) in a Team USA uniform than any other ice hockey player in the country’s history.
Ruggiero helped the U.S. claim the first-ever gold medal awarded in women’s ice hockey in the Olympic Winter Games in 1998 as the youngest member of the team and went on to win three other Olympic medals (silver-2002, 2010; bronze-2006). She was named the top defenseman in the Olympic Winter Games in both 2002 and 2006.
Ruggiero competed at 10 IIHF Women’s World Championships and was honored as the tournament’s top defenseman four times (2001, 2004, 2005, 2008). In 2005, she scored the tournament-winning shootout goal to lead the U.S. to its first-ever gold medal at a Women’s World Championship. She was also part of gold medal-winning teams at the world championship in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and helped the U.S. capture silver medals in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007. Ruggiero also competed at eight Three/Four Nations Cups, the 1996 Pacific Women’s Championship and was a three-time member of U.S. select teams.
She accumulated 208 points (67-141) during her time in a Team USA sweater. In 2003 and 2004, she was named USA Hockey’s Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year.
Ruggiero made history in 2005 when she and her brother, Bill, competed for the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers and became the first brother-sister pair to play together in a professional hockey game in North America. That game also represented Ruggiero becoming the first non-goalie to play in any men’s professional hockey game in North America.
Ruggiero played college hockey for four seasons at Harvard University. There, she contributed 243 points (91-152) in 127 games, was a four-time NCAA All-American, an Academic All-American, helped Harvard win the 1999 national championship and was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Trophy in 2004 as the top women’s ice hockey player in the NCAA.
She played professionally for the Montreal Axion of the National Women’s Hockey League in 2004-05, and joined the Minnesota Whitecaps of the Western Women's Hockey League in 2007-08. The Whitecaps won the league championship in 2008-09. She was also a member of the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women's Hockey League in 2010-11.
Ruggiero, who was recently named to the Hockey Hall of Fame, retired from the U.S. Women’s National Team in December of 2011.