As with last year (and seventeen of 19 instances in the tournament’s history), Canada and the U.S. are the likely frontrunners – however, a number of key starters from the American’s World Championship-winning roster, as well as from Canada’s squad, are not participating, opening up the tournament to younger players. This could give either the Finns or Swedes, in particular apt for them being on home ice, to play spoiler – even in a pre-tournament exhibition game, Sweden held Canada to just a 3-1 score, meaning perhaps they will surprise when the tournament begins.
The Americans will look to continue their dominance from April’s World Championships, also in Sweden, where they cruised through the Preliminary Round and offed Canada for their sixth Worlds Gold, and fifth in the last six tournaments. Canada, who did not have a win against the U.S. since last year’s Four Nations Cup on home ice, will look to regain momentum against their bitter foes, and regain the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process. The Americans will be keen to capture just their sixth Four Nations Cup Gold this year, to ensure they enter next year’s Worlds, on Canadian soil, on fire and ready to reign once again.
For the complete schedule of the Four Nations Cup, click here.