IHLC 2017 In Review – Women’s

The International Hockey Lineal Championship saw its usual see-saw between Canada and the United States on the women’s side, trading back and forth over a 15-game span in 2017, with both teams working to build momentum for the upcoming Olympics in PyeongChang.

The United States started the calendar year with a win on home ice in Plymouth, taking the IHLC to start the World Championships and cruising to their third consecutive World Championship, eking out a narrow overtime win over longtime rivals Canada. It was Canada who they would face off over the IHLC in a six-game winter series in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympics, with the Four Nations Cup sandwiched in between, which the Americans also swept.

The six-game exhibition series, however, proved to be far less beneficial for Team USA, as they lost five straight after winning the opening bout in October, meaning that they both do not currently hold the IHLC leading into 2018, and that they are at a major disadvantage momentum-wise heading into PyeongChang. However, considering their recent success against Canada in non-exhibition scenarios, like the World Championships or Four Nations Cup, it seems that their first Olympic Gold in 20 years is closer than ever.

The following games were contested over the women’s IHLC in 2017 (click for game recaps and boxscores):
340. usa-11 USA 2-0 CAN canada1965-11  – 03/31/2017 – WWC – Plymouth usa-11
341. usa-11 USA 7-0 RUS russia-11 – 04/01/2017 – WWC – Plymouth usa-11
342. usa-11 USA 5-3 FIN finland-11 – 04/03/2017 – WWC – Plymouth usa-11
343. usa-11 USA 11-0 GER  – 04/06/2017 – WWC – Plymouth usa-11
344. usa-11 USA 3-2 CAN canada1965-11 (OT) – 04/07/2017 – WWC – Plymouth usa-11 goldmedal
345. usa-11 USA 5-2 CAN canada1965-11 – 10/22/2017 – EX – Québec canada1965-11
346. canada1965-11 CAN 5-1 USA usa-11 – 10/25/2017 – EX – Boston usa-11
347. canada1965-11 CAN 5-1 FIN finland-11 – 11/05/2017 – EX – Wesley Chapel usa-11
348. canada1965-11 CAN 9-0 SWE sweden-11 – 11/07/2017 – FNC – Wesley Chapel usa-11
349. usa-11 USA 4-2 CAN canada1965-11 – 11/08/2017 – FNC – Wesley Chapel usa-11
350. usa-11 USA 5-0 SWE sweden-11 – 11/10/2017 – FNC – Wesley Chapel usa-11
351. usa-11 USA 5-1 CAN canada1965-11 – 11/12/2017 – FNC – Tampa usa-11 goldmedal
352. canada1965-11 CAN 2-1 USA usa-11 (OT) – 12/03/2017 – EX – Saint Paul usa-11
353. canada1965-11 CAN 2-0 USA usa-11 – 12/05/2017 – EX – Winnipeg canada1965-11
354. canada1965-11 CAN 3-1 USA usa-11 – 12/15/2017 – EX – San Jose usa-11
355. canada1965-11 CAN 2-1 USA usa-11 (OT) – 12/17/2017 – EX – Edmonton canada1965-11

The IHLC Rankings for 2017 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
01. usa-11 UNITED STATES – 9 wins (123, 2nd)
02. canada1965-11 CANADA – 6 wins (214, 1st)

As mentioned, Canada will begin 2018 with the IHLC, opening their calendar year at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, guaranteeing that the title will be contested at the sixth straight Olympiad where women’s hockey has been contested, of which Canada has won four straight titles after the U.S. won the inaugural tournament in 1998. With the scenario of a Canada-U.S. final for the third straight Olympics almost a certainty, the question of who will carry the IHLC from Korea to the fall’s Four Nations Cup is what will be most prevalent heading into 2018. A goalpost is all that stopped the Americans from winning Gold in Sochi, and they will certainly be looking to avoid a similar fate once again.

Photo Credit: 2017 Women’s World Championship – IIHFHHOFIOC



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