IHLC 2016 In Review – Women’s

w-2016inreview
Unlike 2015, which was “the year of Team USA” in women’s hockey, there was a little more parity in the later months of 2016, with Canada finally striking multiple blows to Team USA’s dominance, ultimately ending the calendar year with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.

2016 seemed to be destined to be more of the same from the previous year, as the United States ran the table at the 2016 World Championships in Kamloops, British Columba, cruising to the Gold Medal Game going 4-0, outscoring opponents 22-2 in the process. While Canada came oh-so-close, it was an Alex Carpenter overtime goal that crowned the Americans with their seventh World Championship, their third straight.

November’s Four Nations cup in Finland saw a shift in the American dominance, as Canada won their first game in six tries with a narrow 3-2 victory in the round robin finale; however, it was the Americans with the win that counted the following day, capturing their seventh Four Nations Cup with a 5-3 victory in Järvenpää. But while normally this would keep them with the IHLC until next year’s Worlds, a two-game exhibition series in late December (billed in the U.S. as the “Winter Champions Series”) gave Canada the opportunity to wrench the IHLC away, winning both matchups on both sides of the border to ensure 2016 ends with the IHLC back in Canada’s possession.

The following games were contested over the women’s IHLC in 2016 (click for game recaps and boxscores):
320. 🇺🇸 USA 3-1 CAN 🇨🇦 – 03/28/2016 – WC – Kamloops 🇨🇦
321. 🇺🇸 USA 2-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 03/29/2016 – WC – Kamloops 🇨🇦
322. 🇺🇸 USA 8-0 RUS 🇷🇺 – 03/31/2016 – WC – Kamloops 🇨🇦
323. 🇺🇸 USA 9-0 RUS 🇷🇺 – 04/03/2016 – WC – Kamloops 🇨🇦
324. 🇺🇸 USA 1-0 CAN 🇨🇦 (OT) – 04/04/2016 – WC – Kamloops 🇨🇦  🏅
325. 🇺🇸 USA 6-0 SWE 🇸🇪 – 11/01/2016 – FNC – Vierumäki 🇫🇮
326. 🇺🇸 USA 4-0 FIN 🇫🇮 – 11/02/2016 – FNC – Kerava 🇫🇮
327. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 – 11/04/2016 – FNC – Vierumäki 🇫🇮
328. 🇺🇸 USA 5-3 CAN 🇨🇦 – 11/05/2016 – FNC – Järvenpää 🇫🇮  🏅
329. 🇨🇦 CAN 5-3 USA 🇺🇸 – 12/17/2016 – EX – Plymouth 🇺🇸
330. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 (OT) – 12/19/2016 – EX – Sarnia 🇨🇦

The IHLC Rankings for 2016 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
01. 🇺🇸 UNITED STATES – 8 wins (114, 2nd)
02. 🇨🇦 CANADA – 3 wins (205, 1st)

Canada will now enter the new year with the IHLC, taking the title into the 2017 World Championships in Plymouth, Michigan, looking to not only break the streak of three consecutive American Gold Medals at the tournament, but strike a blow to Team USA’s momentum in advance of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics…not to mention pulling farther ahead of an ever-closing U.S. team in the all-time IHLC Rankings.

Photo Credit: World Women 2016 – IIHFHHOFIOC

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