Canada and the U.S. are still dominating women’s hockey across North America, but other countries are catching up with a number of new national teams representing the sport on international stages.
The “USA Women’s Hockey vs Canada” is a game that will determine the winner of the 2019 IIHF World Championship. The U.S. has won this tournament before and looks to continue their dominance in women’s hockey.
BEIJING — Swiss goalkeeper Andrea Braendli had no illusions about winning an Olympic gold medal.
“It’s going to be a miracle on ice if we compete for a gold medal,” she declared before of the Beijing Games.
Her appraisal of the women’s hockey competition was as objective as any. Despite all of the rhetoric and desire for parity in women’s hockey, the tournament will end like all others at the Olympics: with Canada and the United States competing for gold, and two other teams vying for bronze – this time, Finland and Switzerland.
The competition is the most lopsided at a Games since 2010, when there was open discussion about whether women’s hockey should be kept as an Olympic event, as measured by the average win margins of the Americans and Canadians when they faced any team other than each other.
That debate is now restricted to social media and newspaper columns, and the International Ice Hockey Federation is considering extending the women’s event, which rose to ten countries this year, to equal the 12-nation men’s game.
It may eventually prove to be a competitive remedy, providing fresh incentives for additional nations to sponsor women’s hockey programs. Meanwhile, another Olympic cycle is producing a result that seems as predetermined as any in world sports.
True, the Americans and Canadians did not win every game by double digits, and a spirited Czech Republic team, competing in its first Olympic women’s tournament, had the US on the verge of a disaster last week. However, Canada and the United States faced opponents they had previously defeated in the quarterfinals on Monday.
Investigate the Games
- In limbo: Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater who tested positive for a prohibited drug, has been cleared to participate. Her opponents will be denied the satisfaction of an Olympic medal ceremony if she finishes on the podium.
- No Chance of Winning: Thanks to an effort aimed at fostering diversity, some skiers in Beijing came from places with little snow. Their existence, on the other hand, is not without controversy.
- Hungry athletes, officials, volunteers, and journalists have been attempting to locate moments of wonderful gastronomic distraction, however tiny, with effort and determination.
On Monday, it was more of the same. Canada defeated Switzerland by a score of 10-3, while the United States defeated Finland by a score of 4-1.
The bronze medal match will take place on Wednesday in Beijing, while the gold medal match will take place on Thursday (Wednesday night in Canada and the United States).
Because of growing expenditure and interest throughout the globe, North American players believe that women’s hockey is swiftly approaching more consistently fascinating competition. Men’s hockey had its Olympic debut 78 years before women’s hockey, therefore their sport, like many other women’s sports, is playing catch-up.
“From a 30,000-foot perspective, the distance is obviously closing, which is wonderful,” Hilary Knight, an American competing in her fourth Olympics, said. “You always want to win as a competitor, but it’s great to see other nations investing in women’s ice hockey and committing resources because that’s truly what the various teams need to compete.”
“If they don’t have the skills to be successful, you’re offering them a sentence that doesn’t enable them to be successful,” said American captain Kendall Coyne Schofield. In women’s athletics, this is often the case: “Go out and be as excellent as the guys with half the resources.”
6:02 p.m. ET on February 16, 2022
Both women have worked to increase salaries and bring the sport into the forefront. Even in a women’s hockey powerhouse like the United States, the struggle for public attention is never-ending, and there are still persistent disparities in player development. According to a study released last year, the N.C.A.A. spent more than $9,800 each student who competed in the national men’s hockey tournament in 2019 — and $3,421 per participant in the women’s tournament.
Despite the headwinds, there have been signs of potential hazards for the Americans and Canadians, indications that North American teams have used to enthuse the public — and themselves — that their opponents are approaching.
In any case, European expectations have remained subdued.
“It’s gotten a lot better in terms of other nations giving the US and Canada a hard time, but I don’t believe we can claim they’re not the favorites,” said Zuzana Tomcikova, the Slovak goaltender in the 18-0 win by the Canadians in 2010. “Europe is on its way.” It’s getting there, although slowly, since it will take years for other nations to catch up to the United States and Canada.”
Tomcikova, who forecast the Czech team’s ability to cause heartburn in North America in Beijing, sees two evolving, if slow, tactics for expanding the game.
One is that women’s hockey, which is filled by great players who recall being the only females at their local rinks, is more prominent than ever before, with more television exposure pushing future generations of players to begin practicing sooner. Another factor is the kind of training that is accessible, which has increased in complexity, regularity, and accessibility to high-quality coaching and competition.
Monday, on the other hand, demonstrated how far the game still needs to go. Canada scored five goals in less than three minutes. Only two rounds have been fired by Switzerland.
As a result, Braendli and Switzerland will compete for third place.
“It doesn’t matter what sort of medal I’m playing for,” she remarked. “It’s a major issue,” she says.
It was also the greatest anybody outside of North America could have aspired to at the time, as almost everyone knew.
The “women’s hockey olympics” is a sport that Canada and the United States dominate. The two countries have won every gold medal since women’s hockey was introduced to the Olympics in 1998.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Canada win womens hockey?
Is womens hockey in the Olympics?
A: Womens hockey is a sport that was added to the Olympics in 1998 and has been played ever since.
How did USA womens hockey do?
A: The US womens hockey team did fairly well in the 2018 Olympics, losing to Canada 3-1.
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