It felt like at the present time was by no means going to return.
The 2021 girls’s World Hockey Championship is about to start in Calgary on Friday, 4 months after the occasion was initially going to happen in Halifax, N.S. It was a disgrace COVID-19 put a untimely finish ot the occasion simply days earlier than issues had been set to kick off, however at the very least we’re lastly going to see the highest girls battle it out for gold for the primary time since 2019.
With Olympic centralizations already set for many of the prime groups, the World Championship will function the lead-in for Beijing 2022 preparation. It will make the event further particular, with gamers making an attempt to show they need to play a pivitol position for his or her nation.
Canada and USA are usually the highest groups every year, with the pair making up the ultimate in 19 of the 20 earlier occasions. Finland shocked the world by practically profitable gold in 2019, however, othejrwise, USA has been the crew to beat because the 2006 Winter Olympics, taking gold in eight of the previous 10 outings. They will be in medal rivalry as soon as extra.
With the event set to start shortly, here is a take a look at 10 gamers to control over the following two weeks:
Kendall Coyne-Schofield, F (USA)
Between her work on tv broadcasts, performing as a growth coach for the Chicago Blackhawks and taking part in NHL all-star occasions, few gamers have had a busier previous few years than Coyne-Schofield. She’s nonetheless on the prime of her recreation and he or she’s chasing her seventh gold at this occasion. Again in 2019, Coyne-Schofield was named prime ahead with 5 objectives and 9 factors and has gotten at the very least 5 factors in all however one World Championship throughout her profession.
Hilary Knight, F (USA)
Knight nonetheless has it. Knight’s World Championship CV is sort of spectacular, with eight gold medals, two silvers and 4 situations of main the event in factors, together with three of the previous 4 occasions. She reveals no indicators of slowing down and must be a star as soon as extra as USA seems to defend its title. Knight is well the most effective to ever play on this event and solely continues so as to add to her resume – plus, she’s solely 32, so she has just a few extra years left in her.
Alex Carpenter, F (USA)
There are such a lot of girls value a shoutout, however Alex Carpenter is prepared for her nationwide crew return after two dominant years within the Russian league. Carpenter led the league with 53 factors in 2019-20 en path to a championship, including to her 5 World Championship gold medals. A stout playmaker with a fast shot launch, Carpenter has all of the makings of a participant able to problem for the highest scoring spot.
Marie-Philip Poulin, F (Canada)
You’ll be able to’t speak about Workforce Canada with out discussing one of many biggest to ever signify the maple leaf for her nation. The ultimate participant to win the Jayna Hefford Trophy because the CWHL’s most dear participant, Poulin has been a drive practically each time she has performed for Canada internationally, whether or not it is the Olympics or World Championship. Poulin had a string of three six-point efforts on the event from 2015-17 after which one other six on the 2018 Olympics, so in the event you’re making an attempt to gauge the kind of influence offensively she’ll have, there you go. She’s often probably the most constant gamers Canada has and tends to step her recreation up in massive moments. That is precisely what she’ll have to do once more this yr.
Erin Ambrose, D (Canada)
Discuss consistency. Ambrose has at all times been a big-time participant wherever she’s been, and her World Championship efficiency again in 2019 is proof of that. Ambrose appears to rise to a brand new degree each time she performs internationally for Canada and must be the crew’s prime defenseman this time round. The 2014 Patty Kazmaier Award finalist must be among the many event leaders in factors by a defenseman.
Jenni Hiirikoski, D (Finland)
Hiirikoski is without doubt one of the greatest gamers to play on this event, interval. At 34, she’s ending the latter phases of her profession, however Hiirikoski nonetheless managed to have an unimaginable yr within the Swedish league with 47 factors in 34 video games. To not point out she completed third in event scoring with 10 factors in seven video games en path to her seventh World Championship medal two years in the past to additional show simply how good she might be. Anticipate a lot of the identical from her this yr.
Noora Räty, G (Finland)
Effectively, duh. Räty, 32, is without doubt one of the greatest girls’s goaltenders to ever play the sport and regardless of restricted recreation motion the previous two years, she has a near-perfect report in home play with the Vanke Rays. In actual fact, her profession has been dominated by Räty’s potential to steal video games for any crew she performs for, together with Finland en path to a silver medal on the 2019 World Championship. The Finns ought to issue into medal dialog once more and Räty might be a giant cause why.
Lara Stalder, F (Switzerland)
You’ll be able to’t speak about this event with out mentioning Stalder’s identify. She wasn’t on the 2019 crew, however her expansive profession with the nationwide crew has confirmed to be successful. A member of Brynas within the Swedish league, Stadler is coming off of main the league with 31 objectives and 82 factors in 36 video games – a yr after recording 42 objectives and 71 factors to, as soon as once more, lead one of many largest girls’s hockey leagues. Stalder might be an integral a part of Switzerland’s seek for a medal.
Alina Müller, F (Switzerland)
It is laborious to imagine Müller is simply 23 contemplating she helped Sweden win bronze on the 2014 Olympics on the age of 15. However ever since, Müller has discovered herself amongst Switzerland’s prime scorers at each worldwide occasion and remains to be within the midst of an unimaginable NCAA profession with Northeastern. Switzerland is usually at all times a contender for a medal, with Müller being one of many crew’s most vital goal-scorers. Search for that once more in Calgary.
Hanae Kubo, F (Japan)
Kubo does not have a few years left as a 38-year-old, but when that is it, what a profession it has actually been. The all-time factors chief for Japan on the World Championship with 28 objectives and 54 factors (no participant has greater than 24), Kubo has been a staple of the nationwide crew since 1999, with the ahead competing in 4 many years of hockey motion. That is one thing so few gamers can declare to do in worldwide hockey, however Kubo’s profession has been something however magnificent as she nonetheless, to at the present time, performs at a excessive degree.