The US Women’s Hockey team hearts Ellen

Someone has a crush. Or, should I say, 21 someones have a crush. The U.S. Women’s Hockey Team appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday and seemed quite smitten with the talk show host.

The women appeared via satellite from Vancouver complete with Ellen DeGeneres’ signature “Laugh. Dance. Conquer.” flag, which they’ve been sharing with other Olympic athletes from around the world. See for yourself in the clip below.

Aww, how cute are they? In particular, how cute is forward Erika Lawler? The 23-year-old calls Ellen “an absolute babe” and says “I had to fill out a survey once that said what celebrity would you most like to meet and I chose you.” Hello, smitten kitten.

Ellen responds in kind by calling her “my favorite on the team.”

In fact, the entire team appears to be Ellen superfans. Fellow forward Gigi Marvin, whose idea it was to spread Ellen’s “World Domination” mission with her flag, said the team often watch her “Here and Now” DVD to relax and that “a lot of the girls can say it word-for-word.” They even have a running joke about a speed skater in the Olympic Village named Nancy. She tells Ellen, “Every time we see her we say, “Nancy. Oh, that’s not Nancy,” a riff on one of Ellen’s jokes in the HBO special.

Ellen then asks them, if they win the gold, to skate around the rink with her flag and to come on the show in person. Their reaction can only accurately be described as sheer, unadulterated joy.

Sorry, world, but I’ve got to root hard for Team USA on this one. It’s not just for national pride, but I’d love to see Erika possibly faint when she comes face to face with her crush. USA! USA! USA!