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Alex Cavallini reveals she tore MCL in January, nearly missed Olympics

U.S. goaltender Alex Cavallini nearly missed the 2022 Winter Olympics after tearing her MCL in January.

BEIJING, China — Goaltender Alex Cavallini saw a ton of ice time for the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics, but she probably shouldn't have.

After the U.S. fell to Canada 3-2 in the gold medal game early Thursday morning, Cavallini revealed she had torn her MCL in January and almost didn't make the trip to Beijing.

Cavallini ended up starting four games for the U.S. at the Olympics, finishing the tournament with a .923 save percentage and 1.27 goals against average. She allowed three goals on 21 Canada shots in the women's hockey final.

"I actually tore my MCL (in mid-January) and didn't even know if I was going to make it on the flight here," said Cavallini after the loss.

"I didn't have a full practice until three days into when we got here. Our third practice in was when I actually practiced. Didn't know if I was going to get a start or not.

"For me to be able to battle it out thanks to our amazing staff and coaching staff to believe in me even when I didn't and support me along the way — that was a huge deal for me to even get minutes here."

Cavallini played admirably for much of the tournament, but the choice to give a netminder fresh off an MCL tear four starts at the Olympics is certainly questionable — especially with Maddie Rooney, who helped guide the Americans to gold in PyeongChang, in the fold.

Nicole Hensley also made the trip to Beijing. In her only start at the Olympics, the 27-year-old logged a 12-save shutout.