New York Riveters forward Madison Packer announced on Saturday night that she will retire.
Packer posted a note on her Instagram page thanking her fans and Riveters teammates for making this past year a fun one. She said, “As I announce my retirement from the game I have loved and played for the last 23 years, I want to take the time to reflect on some of the great moments, lessons and people who have made my journey so memorable. Ever since I was 3 years old, hockey has been my life. Not just some game I played with my siblings and the kids from the neighborhood, but the blood running through my veins. I remember when I was a little kid, not more than 7 or 8, my dad took me to the outdoor rink by the ski hill. He sat, waited, watched for hours as I ripped around the ice. My parents were great for that. I got back in the car, pitch black outside, lips purple and quivering and my dad pulled off my skate. I will never forget his words, ‘Madison, you cannot do that again.’ My toes were almost black, frozen from hours on the pond. But I didn’t care. I was doing what I loved.”
Packer went on to thank her teammates, coaches and fans, and also “all the little scuff kneed, tomboys out there, keep letting them tell you, you can’t. Keep working hard and loving what you do. And one day, you’ll be sitting in my seat, writing a post after a long, rewarding career, showing them you did.”
Read the full note below:
Packer and the Riveters had a strong season, finishing second behind the Boston Pride in the regular-season, but were upset by the Buffalo Beauts in Friday’s single-elimination NWHL semifinal.
[More from Excelle Sports: Q&A with Madison Packer, on NWHL salary cuts and player response]
Packer spent two seasons with the Riveters after helping the Wisconsin Badgers win a national championship in 2011. During her senior year in Madison, she was elected to the All-WCHA Academic Team and is one of 19 players in school history to record 100 points.
She also won Gold at the 2008 and 2009 IIHF U-18 World Championships with Team USA.