Sports2024 Summer Olympics


Delafield's Alex Cavallini will start in net for USA women's hockey gold medal game

Alex Cavallini
Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 18:07:38-05

For the third straight game, Delafield's Alex Cavallini will be getting the start in the gold medal game as the starter goalie for the USA's women's hockey team on Wednesday.

She began the Olympics as a backup. Going for gold with teammates and foes that she knows well.

There were two givens with Cavallini. One, she was a Badger at birth.

"From the time she started playing hockey, played boys hockey, and the Dream Team that really inspired her to play and having Mark Johnson as the women's coach. Super successful," father Tim Rigsby says. "Here in Wisconsin? It really became her goal to play for Wisconsin."

"She was getting recruited from all over, and in the back of our mind, we were like, please choose Wisconsin. Please choose Wisconsin," mother Nancy Rigsby says with a laugh.

And two, she wanted to put on the red, white and blue.

"She was going through Learn to Skate in 1998 when the women won gold. She said to me, she goes mommy, I want to play in the Olympics someday," Nancy says.

To say Cavallini had hockey in her blood is an understatement. She married into old school Admirals fan favorite, Gino Cavallini's family.

"Her father-in-law is Gino Cavallini and he used to shoot these pucks at her like out of this machine. Even when she was in 5th grade and like over 100 miles an hour. So she just was fearless," Nancy says.

"Those two teams specifically. They work so hard. They play so hard. They're so committed. There are sacrifices that they make. It becomes almost surreal that you've been pulled into this because we would have never thought we would have ever been where we are at today when she was a little girl starting out to play hockey," Tim says.

And now as a goalie, she's a part of the hottest current rivalry in sports. USA, Canada, with Badgers on both sides.

Sure, there are five Wisconsin Badgers on each side and 11 total players with Wisconsin ties. But, when the puck drops Wednesday night, all of that goes out the window.

"You look at the Olympics too. I mean, between Canada and the USA. There's 10 Badgers on the team. Between those two teams," Tim says.

"What's even more interesting is that three of the six goalies on the Olympic teams, between Canada and the U.S., came out of the Badger program," Nancy says.

"When they're off the ice, they're friends. When they're on the ice, they're enemies," Tim says. "Even Alex with Blayre Turnbull, on the Canadian team, she was the maid of honor in their wedding."

"In Alex's wedding," Nancy says. "So she's the assistant captain of the team, went to Wisconsin."

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