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.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 2-0 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย  โ€“ 31 Mar 2017 โ€“ WWC โ€“ Plymouth ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
341.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 7-0 RUS ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ โ€“ย 01 Apr 2017 โ€“ WWC โ€“ Plymouth ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
342.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 5-3 FIN ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ โ€“ 03 Apr 2017 โ€“ WWC โ€“ Plymouth ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
343.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 11-0 GER ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช โ€“ 06 Apr 2017 โ€“ WWC โ€“ Plymouth ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
344.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 3-2 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ (OT) โ€“ 07 Apr 2017 โ€“ WWC โ€“ Plymouth ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ…
345.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 5-2 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ โ€“ 22 Oct 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Quรฉbec ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
346.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 5-1 USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โ€“ 25 Oct 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Boston ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
347.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 5-1 FIN ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ โ€“ 05 Nov 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Wesley Chapel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
348.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 9-0 SWE ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช โ€“ 07 Nov 2017 โ€“ FNC โ€“ Wesley Chapel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
349.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 4-2 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ โ€“ 08 Nov 2017 โ€“ FNC โ€“ Wesley Chapel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
350.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 5-0 SWE ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช โ€“ 10 Nov 2017 โ€“ FNC โ€“ Wesley Chapel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
351.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย USA 5-1 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ โ€“ 12 Nov 2017 โ€“ FNC โ€“ Tampa ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ…
352.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 2-1 USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ (OT) โ€“ 03 Dec 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Saint Paul ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
353.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 2-0 USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โ€“ 05 Dec 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Winnipeg ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
354.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 3-1 USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โ€“ 15 Dec 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ San Jose ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
355.ย ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย CAN 2-1 USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ (OT) โ€“ 17 Dec 2017 โ€“ EX โ€“ Edmonton ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

The IHLC Rankings for 2017 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
01.ย ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ UNITED STATES – 9 wins (123, 2nd)
02. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 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:ย 2017 Womenโ€™s World Championshipย โ€“ IIHF โ€“ HHOF โ€“ IOC

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