Silverman Named Gold Key Award Honoree
  • Sports

Taft Girls' Varsity Hockey Coach and Olympic Gold Medal Winner Gretchen Ulion Silverman has been named a recipient of the prestigious Gold Key Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance (CSWA). Silverman, along with four other members of the CSWA Gold Key Class of 2018, will be honored at the 77th annual Gold Key Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

Silverman, then Gretchen Ulion, scored the first goal in the very first gold medal women's ice hockey game in history. Women's ice hockey became a medal sport at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, where Silverman was part of the United States that upset Canada 3-1. She also tied the team lead in scoring during that Olympiad with eight points (three goals, five assists).

Silverman came to Taft in 2013, after an impressive academic and playing career. At Dartmouth College, she established school records in career goals (189) and points (312), and to date holds the top four single-season goal totals in Big Green history – 49 (1991 and 1994), 46 (1992) and 45 (1993). She was two-time Ivy League Player of the Year and league Rookie of the Year in 1990. Dartmouth won two Ivy League championships during her tenure there. She was a member of the U.S. women's national team from 1993 to 1998, which captured silver medals at the 1994 and 1997 World Championships, before bursting onto the world stage with the Olympic gold. The team was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

The inaugural Gold Key Dinner was held in 1940, with baseball legend Connie Mack and golf superstar Bobby Jones among the first recipients. Connecticut legends Joan Joyce, Carmen Cozza, Bill Rodgers, Gordie Howe, Marlon Starling, Geno Auriemma, Rebecca Lobo, and Brian Leetch are among the past Gold Key honorees.

(A complete list is available at

Contact CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp, at or 860-394-5091 for Gold Key Dinner tickets and information. Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.

Since 1939, members of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance have been chronicling and sharing the exploits of Connecticut athletes with the citizens of the Nutmeg State. The Alliance began as a group of newspaper sportswriters but over the last 77 years, the Alliance has evolved to include sportswriters, television and radio broadcasters, photographers and online journalists. Our mission is to perpetuate the craft of sports journalism through our financial aid/scholarship program for high school seniors who intend to pursue a career in sports journalism while honoring those who have enriched the sports landscape in Connecticut. Proceeds from the Gold Key dinner help fund our scholarship program.

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