Ruggiero fired up after Apprentice

Angela Ruggiero of the U.S. women's hockey team was fired by Donald Trump on Sunday's episode of...

Angela Ruggiero of the U.S. women's hockey team was fired by Donald Trump on Sunday's episode of The Apprentice. She said she wouldn't mind meeting rival Kristine on the ice sometime. (NBC/Tommy Baynard)

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:47 PM ET

Angela Ruggiero would love to see Heidi and Kristine on the ice next week at the World Women's Hockey Championship in Winnipeg and Selkirk.

That way, the star U.S. defenceman could take a run at the two contestants who got her fired by Donald Trump on The Apprentice: Los Angeles this past Sunday night.

"Heidi and Kristine were the two on my team that in the end could've helped me and kind of threw me under the bus," Ruggiero said yesterday on a conference call. "They could've gone after Nicole with me. She was the newest team member.

"So yeah, I'd throw a hip check against them. But you know what? I'd probably kill 'em, because if you follow the show, they have a lot of models on the show. It wouldn't be a fair fight."

Even though Trump won't be offering her a high-paying job in his company, Ruggiero still had a blast on the popular reality show.

"Everyone in the process really respected me and obviously are going to be cheering me on for the world championship," she said.

The 27-year-old Harvard grad made it on the program after winning an online poll during last year's Winter Olympics. She was selected among 12 U.S. Olympians.

The Apprentice consists of 18 contestants, split into two teams, who try to win weekly team tasks. The team that loses the task then loses a member when Trump utters his famous phrase: "You're fired."

For Ruggiero, those fatal words were heard on Sunday night while she was surrounded by her teammates in a hotel room in Grand Forks, N.D., where the U.S. is preparing to defend its world title.

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"My teammates started to hear the music when Trump is about to fire someone, and they start going 'No! No! No!' and they were getting all upset," said Ruggiero, who was among the final eight contestants. "And as soon as he says 'You're fired,' they started throwing pillows at the TV and they were in disbelief.

"If anything, it was great to have them around, because it was a very nerve-wracking experience. You never know how you're going to get edited. They all came up and gave me a hug afterwards."

Ruggiero was one of 18 players named to the U.S. team yesterday, but her presence on the squad was never in question. She's a three-time Olympic medallist and was voted the top blue-liner at the 2004 and 2005 world championships.

There are 10 Olympians on the U.S. roster, including the program's only other three-time Olympic medallist, Jenny Potter.

Ruggiero likely won't have a special place in the hearts of Canadians next week, however. She scored the shootout winner in the gold-medal match at the 2005 worlds, and at last year's Olympics she questioned why Canada was running up the score against weaker opponents.

Then again, she's hoping that her presence on one of TV's most watched shows will help boost the popularity of women's hockey.

"All of a sudden left and right people are saying 'Good luck' or 'Great job on The Apprentice and knowing my first name and saying 'Good luck on the hockey team,' " she said. "So it's definitely a special opportunity for my sport and for me."

After the world championship Ruggiero will return to L.A. for The Apprentice's season finale, which will air on NBC on April 22.


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