IHLC 2021 In Review – Women’s


After a tumultuous year that saw the IIHF Women’s Championship be cancelled for the second straight year, then revived in August, the IHLC finally saw a return to relative normalcy in the second half of 2021, in the lead-up to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The spring saw a second attempt to host the World Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada, after cancelling in 2020, which at nearly the last minute was cancelled by the provincial government due to new COVID outbreaks, leaving the tournament in major jeopardy. However, Hockey Canada agreed to host the tournament further west in Calgary three months later, which was held successfully, seeing Canada defeat their arch-rivals Team USA both in the group round finale and Gold Medal Game, the latter yet another thrilling overtime chapter in this historic rivalry.

The fall then saw the return of the U.S.-Canada Rivalry Series, a nine-game pre-Olympic exhibition tour across both countries that began on 22 October. As of the end of 2021, no home team has won thus far, and Canada leads the series four games to two after six meetings (with one set for 20 December in Minnesota being cancelled), also sweeping Finland on an exhibition tour in early November, in lieu of the Four Nations Cup, which once again was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions.

The following games were contested over the women’s IHLC in 2021 (click for game recaps and boxscores):
383. 🇺🇸 USA 6-0 ROC 🇷🇺 – 18 Aug 2021 – EX – Calgary 🇨🇦
384. 🇺🇸 USA 3-0 SUI 🇨🇭 – 20 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
385. 🇺🇸 USA 3-0 FIN 🇫🇮 – 22 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
386. 🇺🇸 USA 6-0 ROC 🇷🇺 – 24 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
387. 🇨🇦 CAN 5-1 USA 🇺🇸 – 26 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
388. 🇨🇦 CAN 7-0 GER 🇩🇪 – 28 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
389. 🇨🇦 CAN 4-0 SUI 🇨🇭 – 30 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦
390. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 (OT) – 31 Aug 2021 – WWC – Calgary 🇨🇦 🏅
391. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-1 USA 🇺🇸 – 22 Oct 2021 – RS – Allentown 🇺🇸
392. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 – 25 Oct 2021 – RS – Hartford 🇺🇸
393. 🇨🇦 CAN 4-2 FIN 🇫🇮 – 11 Nov 2021 – EX – Helsinki 🇫🇮
394. 🇨🇦 CAN 8-0 FIN 🇫🇮 – 13 Nov 2021 – EX – Turku 🇫🇮
395. 🇨🇦 CAN 5-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 14 Nov 2021 – EX – Turku 🇫🇮
396. 🇺🇸 USA 3-2 CAN 🇨🇦 (OT) – 21 Nov 2021 – RS – Kingston 🇨🇦
397. 🇺🇸 USA 2-0 CAN 🇨🇦 – 23 Nov 2021 – RS – Ottawa 🇨🇦
398. 🇨🇦 CAN 2-1 USA 🇺🇸 (OT) – 15 Dec 2021 – RS – Maryland Heights 🇺🇸
399. 🇨🇦 CAN 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 (OT) – 17 Dec 2021 – RS – Maryland Heights 🇺🇸

The IHLC Rankings for 2021 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
01. 🇨🇦 CANADA – 11 wins (236, 1st)
02. 🇺🇸 UNITED STATES – 6 wins (145, 2nd)

Team Canada will carry the IHLC into the 2022 Beijing Olympics, with the rest of the Rivalry Series cancelled on 28 December, meaning they will head to China with the title in tow, opening their attempt to regain Gold for the first time since 2014 on 03 February against Switzerland (pending any pre-Olympic exhibition games to be scheduled).

Photo Credit: 2021 Women’s World Championship – IIHFHHOFIOC

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