IHLC Preview – 2016 Four Nations Cup

2016fnc-preview
For the 21st time, the top nations in international women’s hockey will meet, this time in Vierumäki, Finland, to contend for the 2016 Four Nations Cup, pitting hosts Finland against Canada, Sweden, and the defending champion United States.

As with last year (and eighteen of 20 instances in the tournament’s history), Canada and the U.S. are the likely frontrunners – the juggernaut line of Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker and Kendall Coyne is back in front for the Americans, while Canadian snipers like Marie-Philip Poulin, Meghan Agosta and Natalie Spooner are back for Canada. Returning to the lineups are Amanda Kessel for Team USA and Shannon Szabados for Team Canada, while the Americans only have veteran Alex Rigsby back in net, potentially leaving an opportunity for Canada to capitalize without the likes of Jessie Vetter or Molly Schaus in Vierumäki. Finland of course will look to play spoiler, with veteran keeper Noora Räty between the pipes once again.

Team USA has not suffered a major tournament loss since the 2014 Four Nations Gold Medal Game, running the table at the 2015 Four Nations Cup and both the 2015 and 2016 World Championships, putting their current win streak (both in general and for the International Hockey Lineal Championship) at fourteen games, with seemingly no end in sight for their red-hot offense to continue piling up W’s. With the potential to not only win their seventh Cup in Finland, but to carry this momentum (and a potential 20+ game win streak) into the 2017 Worlds on home ice in Plymouth, Michigan, gives plenty of edge to Team USA to continue their torrid streak.

The schedule for the 2016 Four Nations Cup is as follows:

Tuesday, 01 November
🇺🇸 United States vs. Sweden 🇸🇪
🇨🇦
Canada vs. Finland 🇫🇮 (at Järvenpää)

Wednesday, 02 November
🇺🇸 United States vs. Finland 🇫🇮 (at Kerava)
🇨🇦
Canada vs. Sweden  🇸🇪

Friday, 04 November
🇸🇪 Sweden vs. Finland 🇫🇮
🇺🇸 United States vs. Canada 🇨🇦

Saturday, 05 November
Bronze Medal Game (at Järvenpää)
Gold Medal Game (at Järvenpää)

Photo Credit: USA Hockey – IIHF – HHOF – IOC

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