The 2022 female world championships open on August 25. Prepare to attend the start of a new tradition.
We ended up with August hockey thanks to the unlikely combination of a pandemic and an IIHF innovation. When Worlds were canceled in 2020 and then again in 2021, the IIHF was forced to postpone the 2021 tournament to August in Calgary so it could finally play the games. The surprise for many was the success of the summer tournament, something that the male junior world championship has not known this year in Edmonton.
In the past, women did not get world championships in Olympic years; The schedule has always seemed too busy at IIHF. But with the success of 2021, they decided to break new ground and add an August worlds to the schedule for Olympic years, leaving the tournament set in the spring the rest of the time. And here we are with the first event of this new era. This schedule allows women to play a championship each year at a time that best fits their Olympic, league and educational commitments, regardless of the country in which they play – more than can be said for the men’s championship.
Preliminary round matches begin Thursday and continue through Tuesday, August 30. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches will be played from September 1-4.
This year’s event takes place in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark. Supporters of the Leafs may remember herning as the hometown of Frederik Andersen and a Danish hockey home. The Danes participated in the Olympics this year for the first time and the Danes won Denmark’s first Olympic victory in hockey. Denmark are probably the closest of all the nations represented in this championship to parity in the number of women and men playing hockey at all levels – remember, however, that it is a very little country. Most other countries are experiencing the greater growth in female hockey than from any other part of the game.
Denmark are six hours ahead of Toronto, so an evening game takes place in the afternoon in eastern Canada.
Groups and tournament format
Women’s hockey at the World Championships and Olympics uses a tiered group format organized according to the current international ranking order. This order is based on past World and Olympic results. This year’s ranking was established after last year’s world championships and before the Olympics.
Group A is the top tier and is made up of the current top five nations in order:
- UNITED STATES
As you know, Russia, who would have been fourth, have been banned from IIHF events, opening the door for a team usually in Group B to move up. Japan has the necessary points from the ranking system. The United States, which is now tied with Canada in ranking points, is still classified in the front row for this event.
6. Czech Republic
Hungary won promotion to this group and finished ninth last time out, and although Denmark are in the event as hosts, they were seeded 11th in 2021 and are now 10th, so they are definitely not not in the wrong tournament. We won’t have the same problems we had at the Olympics in recent years, where everyone was tasked with pretending the host team was competitive. That said, Hungary and Denmark will most likely finish bottom of the standings.
Each group will play a preliminary round of four games each within the group. All group A teams qualify for the quarter -finals, classified by the results of the preliminary round. They are joined by the top three teams from Group B.
The last-placed team from Group B is relegated to Group A of Division I (the next division of Championship teams) for the next year. This year’s tournament in that group took place in the spring after two years of cancellation, and France were the winners, bringing them back into the championship group next year.
The eight quarter-final teams play one-on-eight and two-on-seven, etc. The teams are then reseeded for the semi-finals.
All games that end in a tie go to overtime, and all overtime is three-on-three. In a preliminary round, the extension is five minutes. In playoff games and the bronze medal game, it is 10 minutes, and in either case, a shootout will follow if necessary. In the match for the gold medal, there is no shooting.
Like all IIHF tournaments, a three -point system is used with three points for a regulatory victory, two for a prolongation or shooting victory and one for a defeat in overtime or in a shooting.
Due to the importance of the points ranking system for teams, matches are played between the losers of playoff games to set the finish order up to 10. You will know you have met a die-hard fan if he is watching these games.
The tournament opens Thursday with Japan taking on the United States at 9 a.m. (all hours North American Eastern Time).
Canada opens with its second toughest game of the preliminaries, against Finland at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Group A plays in the KVIK Arena in Herning, while Group B plays in Frederikshavn in Iscenter North. The Herning arena can hold just over 4,000 people, while the Frederikshavn arena holds 4,000 and 750 seats.
The Group B games on day one are Germany v Hungary and Denmark v Sweden at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. respectively.
The easiest place to find matches is on the IIHF website: https://www.iihf.com/en/events/2022/ww/schedule
TSN also has a schedule page: https://www.tsn.ca/hockey-canada/women-s-worlds/schedule
And I know what you want to know. The Preliminary Canada – United States round match is the final match on Tuesday August 30 at 2 p.m. It is impossible to know the rankings of the quarter -finals until this match is played.
How to watch
As always, IIHF events are fully covered on TSN. All the matches of this tournament should be available in streaming on TSN.CA, which is free with your television subscription which includes TSN. It’s also available to non-TV subscribers for $20 a month.
The broadcasting calendar (scrolling down) focuses first on Canada, then on the United States team, then on all those who play when they are not, so some of the first games of Group B will not be televised. It is unconfirmed if all of these games will be on TSN.ca, as their schedule only lists broadcast channels.
The rosters are not official until they are entered into the tournament, but all teams make unofficial rosters for the pre-tournament camp in Denmark. It was the Canadian alignment for their development match where Denmark decided to eliminate the worst possible match that he could never have played. It’s like a polar swim to wake up for teams that are not so difficult to play:
Denmark lost 14-1 against what is probably the final training of Canada with some changes in front of the net for a serious game. You’ll notice that Natalie Spooner is missing – she’s expecting a baby. Nor are there Olympians Rebecca Johnston and Melodie Daoust here.
The biggest blow for the American team is the loss of Dani Cameranesi retired. Megan Bozek in Defense is also absent and Brianna Decker is not ready to come back from the broken leg that she suffered at the Olympic Games. The rest of the big names, as well as their excellent young players are taken into account.
Other teams to watch: Czechia have proven to be one of the most interesting teams of 2021/2022. They did the Olympic Games and performed there very well, and after the Olympic Games (when the Leafs hired their coach to be a development coach for European hopes), the Czechs appointed the first woman coach of the ‘ history of the Czech women’s program. It’s a movement supported by the players:
“We need more female coaches, staff and trainers in our country because players feel more comfortable working with them,” Peslarova said. “I know that because it was my own experience, and I think it’s better for them to develop rather than follow the ‘old fashioned’ male coaching approach.”
Canadian Carla MacLeod will be behind the Czech bench. She played at the University of Wisconsin and in the league in the early 2000s. She also competed in two Olympics and four world championships. She was the head coach last year of the University of Calgary team, but also spent several years as an assistant coach with the Japan team.
Japan is another important team to monitor. Jumped into the lead group, this is going to be a tough tournament for them. Chances are high that they won’t win in the preliminary round. The level of competition for three of their four competitors will be far above what they would get in Group B. But this trial by fire is what teams really need to understand – at player, manager and level. breast of the federation – what they need. to do to grow as a team. You need to find signs of growth in the way Japan plays as they lose, which is hard to do, and the cynics will just call them bad as they miss the point that they keep growing in the game as a nation.
Switzerland, Czechia, Japan and possibly Sweden (they have had a difficult history lately) have all developed their games significantly in recent years.
This tournament is going to be fun – just to have a chance to stay awake for the third period after two East Asian Olympics – but it’s also going to mark the end of an old era as well as the start of a new calendar. . This is the last time women’s hockey will be as good as it is now.
From now on, it will only improve. North American women are thirsty to play significant games because they don’t get this at home once they left school. It will change and the game will never be the same again. European women are all pushing to improve their leagues, with more funding and support. They succeed frustratingly slowly and their elite players also want the chance to really make a living playing hockey. It will come.
Look at the world championships this year for the Canada-UNITAE rivalry and to see which other teams are improving. Which Sweden will show up? Does Japan have a goalscoring knack to go with their skill system? Does Germany have anything other than athleticism and size? Is Switzerland really ready to take Russia’s place? How much closer are Finland to the top two?
Playing at the Olympics this spring was the best women’s hockey tournament I’ve ever seen overall. There is no reason that this championship and all those to come should not be better.