When Is Us Women’s Hockey Final? [Expert Review!]

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Let’s get something straight right from the start: the Women’s Hockey Final is not the same as the Women’s World Cup. No matter what channel you choose to follow the games, you will always know the difference. While the Women’s Hockey Final is an annual tournament that decides Canada’s champion, the Women’s World Cup is a biennial (every two years) event that decides the best team on the planet.

The first edition of the Women’s Hockey Final was held in Canada in 2019. It pitted the national teams of Canada and the United States against each other in a one-of-a-kind clash at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Why should you care about the Women’s Hockey Final? It’s been a while since the game was at the forefront of the sports radar and it feels good to finally see it make a return. Women’s hockey was considered to be a game for gold-medalists and seasoned professionals before the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Since then, the sport has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity. The number of people watching women’s hockey increased by 41% in the six months leading up to and including the 2018 Winter Olympics. Thanks to increased media coverage and star players like USA’s Megan Raphel, Canada’s Hayley Wickenham, and Russia’s Vasilisa Volochkova, this year’s tournament will undoubtedly be one of the biggest yet.

Women’s Hockey Is Back

The Women’s Hockey Final is currently underway with the best of the best from Canada and the United States taking the ice. It’s a fantastic opportunity for you to watch some top-notch hockey if you’re not already following the game. Teams like the USA’s Carli Lloyd and Canada’s Kendall Coyne have dominated the headlines in the run-up to the tournament, but throughout their careers they’ve consistently been among the best players in the world. Lloyd, for example, won the gold medal as part of the 2016 Team USA and is looking to add to her collection of accolades. She recently became the second-youngest player (after Auston Matthews) to reach 200 caps for the Boston University Terriers. Despite missing out on the 2018 Winter Olympics, Lloyd has more than earned her spot on the national team. She currently boasts 83 goals in 88 appearances for the Americans.

Kendall Coyne made her Olympic debut in 2014 and has been a regular ever since. One of the most decorated players in history, she has five Olympic gold medals to her name. The 25-year-old forward is playing in her sixth consecutive Olympics and has yet to put a cap on her accolades. She played a crucial role in the 2018 Winter Olympics, scoring the first goal of the tournament and assisting on three others, including the gold-medal winning goal by Jocelyn Linnekin of Canada. In total, she has 12 Olympic gold medals. She currently plays for the Metropolitan Riveters of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL).

The CWHL is one of the top women’s leagues in the world. It was established in 1995 and currently consists of 10 teams, including several of North America’s top-tier hockey clubs. The 10-team league runs from October to April and features some of the best female hockey players in the world. In addition to the USA’s Lloyd and Coyne, Canada’s Hayley Wickenham and Meghan Duggan of the Boston Cannons are looking to add to their gold medals. Wickenham has four of them while Duggan has three. The 25-year-old Duggan, a gold medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics, helped the Boston University Terriers to a national championship in 2018. Before her time in Boston, Duggan played for the Seattle Freeze.

The Teams

With the tournament only a couple of days old, we know what is already certain: this year’s Women’s Hockey Final will be a battle between the best national teams in the world. It’s already been hyped as the greatest show of women’s hockey ever and with no shortage of star power, it is hard to look past what is shaping up to be a memorable evening of hockey.

As mentioned above, Canada and the United States are the two powerhouses of women’s hockey. A rivalry that played out on the ice in the 1976 Canada–United States Hockey Women’s Challenge resulted in a 1–0 victory for the Canadians, who went on to win the first three Women’s Hockey Finals. Since then, the winning streak has continued as the two teams regularly clash for the honour of being the best in the world. It’s a competition that sees the two great nations’ play for the Lady Byng trophy, which is awarded to the best female athlete in the world. The trophy was named after Canada’s Most Honourable Mystery Guest (M.H.M.G.), the then-Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who contributed $50,000 to the cause in 1928. He was also a keen hockey enthusiast and the first president of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Federation (WARAF), which later merged with the International Hockey Association (later Hockey Canada) to create today’s Hockey Canada.

It is well-documented that women’s hockey was a heavily-guarded secret in the ’70s, ’80s and into the early ’90s. It was only in 1992 that women’s hockey was officially recognised as an Olympic sport. That year, figure skater Dorothy Hamill became the first ever female hockey player to get the Olympic “medal” (a bronze statue of an ice skater) during a parade in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. (The same figure skating rink that she trained at during the ’70s and early ’80s is now named in her honour and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.)

It was not until the 2000s that women’s hockey started to really take off. That decade, several of the biggest names in women’s hockey — including Wickenham, Duggan, and Kelly Chase of the Colorado Avalanche — helped to drive the sport’s popularity. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were a massive boon to the game as Canada’s team won a record seven gold medals, including a sweep of the hockey events. The next year’s Winter Olympics were even more special as Team Canada won a record 10 gold medals — including another sweep of the hockey events.

What’s Next?

The 2019 Women’s Hockey Final will consist of eight teams in total. With the tournament only a day old, we know that Canada and the USA will play for the right to wear the coveted golden maple leaf. The first game is currently underway and the match can be viewed live on the Internet via CBC Hockey Night in Canada’s (HNIC) website and app. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST).

The USA’s first game was a 6–0 whitewash of the North American opponent. Even after that one-sided result, the chatter on social media (mainly Twitter) has been dominated by talk of a potential dynasty being formed. The chatter is not without merit as the USA holds the record for most consecutive Olympic gold medals (13) while Canada has the most wins (22) in Olympic history.

Gold-Medal Hopes For Canada And The USA

As mentioned above, Canada and the USA have been dominant in women’s hockey for decades. A rivalry that played out on the ice in the 1976 Canada–United States Hockey Women’s Challenge resulted in a 1–0 victory for the Canadians, who went on to win the first three Women’s Hockey Finals. Since then, the winning streak has continued as the two teams regularly clash for the honour of being the best in the world. It’s a competition that sees the two great nations’ play for the Lady Byng trophy, which is awarded to the best female athlete in the world. The trophy was named after Canada’s Most Honourable Mystery Guest (M.H.M.G.), the then-Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who contributed $50,000 to the cause in 1928. He was also a keen hockey enthusiast and the first president of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Federation (WARAF), which later merged with the International Hockey Association (later Hockey Canada) to create today’s Hockey Canada.

It is well-documented that women’s hockey was a heavily-guarded secret in the ’70s, ’80s and into the early ’90s. It was only in 1992 that women’s hockey was officially recognised as an Olympic sport. That year, figure skater Dorothy Hamill became the first ever female hockey player to get the Olympic “medal” (a bronze statue of an ice skater) during a parade in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. (The same figure skating rink that she trained at during the ’70s and early ’80s is now named in her honour and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.)

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