The When it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. At the 2021 IIHF Women’s Ice Hockey World Championships, Canada and the United States were meant to be in the finals, and so it is.
Team USA is chasing their sixth-consecutive IIHF World Championship title, hoping to resume their streak. The tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The national neighbors have a natural rivalry, but it has been enhanced on the ice over the years. America’s title streak would be even greater at nine except the Canadians interrupted the streak by winning gold in 2012.
eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],’projectspurs_com-medrectangle-4′,’ezslot_8′,108,’0′,’0′]));The gold medal game will take place inside WinSport Arena in Calgary, Canada on Tuesday, August 31.
Both teams flexed their muscle on the two ends of the ice in their respective semi-final games on Monday. The Americans set the tone in the first game, defeating their 2019 gold medal opponent Finland 3-0. Hours later, the Canadians dismissed Switzerland 4-0, showing up the United States by one goal. Though unlikely intended as such, that final goal, which was scored in the final four minutes of play, feels like a shot at the Americans. The message? Canada is still the better team.
Of course, it’s hard to say that the Canadians are the better team given the Americans’ title streak. Present history, however, would say that they in fact are.
Competing in Group A in the tournament, the two teams have already faced each other once in the preliminaries. The result was a stunning 5-1 loss for Team USA, which Lee Stecklein prevented from being a 5-0 shutout with her goal at 42:44 in the third period.
Alex Cavallini was abused for four goals in just over 27 minutes in the first game before getting pulled in favor of Nicole Hensley. Jamie-Lee Rattray nearly had a hat-trick for Canada in that game, with two goals in a three-minute span in the second period. Rattray and the American goalkeeper situation will definitely be something to watch in the game.
The gold medal game will be broadcast on the NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada. Unfortunatley, the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship may not be accessible for fans abroad. In this case, we recommend you check out PremiumTV.
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As Canada and the United States square-off to determine gold and silver, Finland and Switzerland will battle for the final spot on the podium. Both teams had narrow wins in the quarter-finals before being shut out by their opponents in the semi-finals.
Another pair of Group A teams, Switzerland fell to Finland 6-0 in their preliminary contest last Thursday. The Finns broke out to a 4-0 lead in the first frame in that game.
Scoring has been a major shortcoming for the Swiss in the tournament. They registered just one goal in the preliminaries before advancing to the playoffs where they upset the ROC in overtime 3-2. Now with a chance to play for a medal despite their previous performances, they face a shot at redemption against Finland.
For any scoring ability the Swiss lack, Finland makes up for it. They tied the United States for the third most goals at the Worlds with 13. Their two losses were respectable, coming to both Canada and the USA. They should be favored to take the bronze medal on Tuesday.