The 2024 IIHF Women’s Worlds Championship begins today | The GIST

    The GIST: The 23rd IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, aka the top women’s hockey tournament, begins today in Utica, NY, with a fierce rivalry likely taking center stage.

    • And with the PWHL’s record-breaking inaugural season sparking a women’s hockey revolution, the excitement surrounding the game’s best has never been higher. Skate on.

    How it works: The competition features 10 teams split into Groups A and B, with the top five ranked countries in the former and the remaining five in the latter. All members of Group A, which includes world No. 1 Canada and defending champs No. 2 U.S., earn an automatic berth to the quarter-finals, where they’ll be joined by the top three group play finishers from Group B.

    • Due to the skill disparity in international women’s hockey, this format ensures the best squads play competitive games the entire time, though history indicates Canada and the U.S. will almost certainly duke it out in the final.
    • They’re the only two countries to ever win Worlds and the only other team to even compete for the gold medal is No. 4 Finland. And that’s on dominance.

    Team USA: The Americans are contending for back-to-back trophies following last year’s title game victory over Canada. Captain and forward Hilary Knight scored a hat trick in that game and will bring a veteran presence to this young and feisty team that boasts eight players who competed in the NCAA championship just last week.

    • Let’s see how the chemistry flows when they open the tourney tonight at 7 p.m. ET against No. 3 Switzerland.

    Team Canada: This veteran squad with revenge on the brain is full of recognizable names, including PWHL Toronto forward and face of the league Sarah Nurse and PWHL Ottawa’s Marie-Philip Poulin, who’s hungry for a fourth world title. They don’t call her Captain Clutch for nothing.

    • Although this roster is familiar, there could be a shakeup between the pipes: PWHL Toronto ’tendy Kristen Campbell’s stellar season could earn her the starting spot over Ann-Renée Desbiens. The Canucks drop the puck tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET against Finland.

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