Once again the Ice Hockey Women’s World Chamionship was cannucked right up
The International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, or Women’s World Championship for short, was just held in Denmark. The tournament is now hosted every year and is organized by the IIHF. This first female championship was created in 1990 as a way for female hockey players to compete at the international level for their countries. This provided women the opportunity to showcase their talents at the international level and gave room for potential improvements to games including the first professional women’s ice hockey league.
Canada and the United States have dominated this tournament since its inception in 1990. Canada currently holds the most gold metal titles at 12, and the US holds the second-most gold medals with nine. Since 1990, the US and Canada have met in all the finals, except on one occasion when Canada lost to Finland in the semifinals back in 2019.
Team Canada came into the tournament having won gold at both the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2021 World Championships in Calgary. Canada started the tournament strong by winning all their preliminary games except for one. Canada lost to the US 5-2, however the score did not impact their advancement in the tournament and they were able to apply the lessons they learned to future games. In the quarterfinals, Canada beat Sweden 3-0 to advance to the semifinals where Canada beat Switzerland 8-1 to advance to the gold medal match.
In the final, Canada and the US saw their third final against each other within a span of a year. Canada beat the US in Calgary in a 3-2 overtime to win the World Championships. Canada then secured another victory when they beat the US 3-2 again at the Olympics in Beijing to win the gold medal. Canada saw the US for a third time during the 2022 World Championship Final where they beat the US 2-1 to bring home the gold medal. Brianne Jenner scored two goals for Canada to secure the win, and goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens had 20 shots saved.
Canada saw a full press from the US which led to the US outshooting Canada 12-6 in the third period alone. The US had multiple opportunities to equalize in the third period as a pair of power plays were given, however they were unable to convert. Head coach Troy Ryan saw his team as a work in progress throughout the tournament and acknowledged that the Canadian forwards struggled with their chemistry early in the tournament.
Canada saw the return of 18 players to their roster from the Olympics as did the US, though the US forwards were able to gain chemistry quicker than the Canadian forwards were able to. In learning from their previous meeting with the US in the preliminary round, Canada was able to move the puck quicker and more effectively and were seen to be more tenacious in their defence and work habits.
Seeing Canada win their third goal medal within the span of a year is an amazing accomplishment and would be for any team. Canadians should be proud of their women’s team and the accomplishments they have achieved over the course of the year. Canada is set to host the 2023 World Championships, though no host city has been named, and the US is set to host the 2024 World Championships.