It's no surprise that U.S. women's hockey forward Alex Carpenter has been complimented by her coaches for having an innate feel for the game.
Carpenter, 19, is the daughter of former NHL all-star Bobby Carpenter. She told TODAY's Stephanie Gosk about playing on the family's backyard rink in Albany, N.Y. — and how she felt when her father told her girls couldn't play in the NHL.
"I started crying and crying,'' Carpenter said. "I was hysterical. He said, 'Well, you can play in the Olympics,' so I was like, 'All right, I'm going to go do that now.'''
She also talked about her dad's influence, especially after he told her to get serious about fitness and eating habits after she failed to make the U.S. team going to the World Championships two years ago.
Carpenter is back in action on Thursday when the U.S. takes on Canada for gold in Sochi.