IHLC 2018 In Review – Women’s


The International Hockey Lineal Championship continued to see-saw between Canada and the United States in international women’s hockey, with each nation winning five games in 2018, but the Americans winning crucial Gold medals at both the PyeongChang Olympics and Four Nations Cup.

Canada began 2018 with the IHLC, taking the title into PyeongChang following their pre-Olympic exhibition series victory over the Americans to end the year, winning an exhibition tilt over Switzerland, preliminary victories over the Olympic Athletes From Russia, Finland and Americans, and a second victory over the Russians in the Olympic Semifinal.

However, after a 20 year drought, and three heartbreaking Gold Medal losses to Canada in 2002, 2010 and 2014, the United States won Olympic Gold in thrilling fashion, taking Canada to a shootout before capturing victory on the backs of a nifty Jocelyne Lamoureux shootout winner, plus the solid play of goaltender Maddie Rooney. With no World Championships being held in Olympic years, the Americans held the IHLC until November’s Four Nations Cup in Saskatoon, sweeping their opponents by a combined score of 17-5 to win their ninth Nations Cup title.

The following games were contested over the women’s IHLC in 2018 (click for game recaps and boxscores):
356. 🇨🇦 CAN 10-0 SUI 🇨🇭 – 02/04/2018 – EX – Goyang 🇰🇷
357. 🇨🇦 CAN 5-0 OAR 🇷🇺 – 02/11/2018 – OG – Gangneung 🇰🇷
358. 🇨🇦 CAN 4-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 02/13/2018 – OG – Gangneung 🇰🇷
359. 🇨🇦 CAN 2-1 USA 🇺🇸 – 02/15/2018 – OG – Gangneung 🇰🇷
360. 🇨🇦 CAN 5-0 OAR 🇷🇺 – 02/19/2018 – OG – Gangneung 🇰🇷
361. 🇺🇸 USA 3-2 CAN 🇨🇦 (SO) – 02/22/2018 – OG – Gangneung 🇰🇷 🏅
362. 🇺🇸 USA 5-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 11/06/2018 – FNC – Saskatoon 🇨🇦
363. 🇺🇸 USA 2-1 CAN 🇨🇦 – 11/07/2018 – FNC – Saskatoon 🇨🇦
364. 🇺🇸 USA 5-1 SWE 🇸🇪 – 11/09/2018 – FNC – Saskatoon 🇨🇦
365. 🇺🇸 USA 5-2 CAN 🇨🇦 – 11/10/2018 – FNC – Saskatoon 🇨🇦 🏅

The IHLC Rankings for 2018 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
T1. 🇨🇦 CANADA – 5 wins (219, 1st)
T1. 🇺🇸 UNITED STATES – 5 wins (128, 2nd)

The Americans will now head into 2019 with the IHLC in tow, defending first in February in a three-game exhibition series against Canada, with tilts in London, Toronto and Detroit. The winner of this series will take the IHLC into the World Championships in Espoo, Finland, where the Americans look to win their ninth overall and fifth consecutive World Championship title, while Canada will be looking to win their eleventh Championship, and first since 2012. Parity in the game can see contenders like Finland or Russia start to make Canada or the Americans sweat, and while these nations will not likely dethrone Canada or the U.S. as global champions, they may make a dent on the way, and perhaps even capture the IHLC from them in 2019.

Photo Credit: PyeongChang 2018 – IIHFHHOFIOC

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