One of the tournaments to watch at the 2014 Winter Olympics will be Women’s Ice Hockey.
Here is an in-depth take on the exciting Olympic tournament:
Brief Background of Women’s Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics
Compared to men’s ice hockey at the Winter Olympics, the women’s ice hockey tournament is relatively new. The tournament has only been around since 1998, which means that there have only been four tournaments in total. Female hockey players from across the globe have played in the tournament, including from countries such as Canada, Finland, and the United States. Their main goal: taking home a gold medal.
This year’s tournament will begin on February 8, 2014, and conclude on February 20. The tournament will be played at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and at the Shayba Arena. Five teams were determined by the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Ranking. The five teams were Canada, the United States, Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden. Since Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, their women’s ice hockey team qualified. Two other teams qualified through a qualification tournament; the two teams are Germany and Japan.
Key athletes competing in ice hockey this year
Although the athletes are not as well-known as the athletes of the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament, there are some very talented female hockey players. One such female hockey player is Meghan Duggan, who will be the team captain of the United States. The 26-year-old is a star forward who played college hockey at the University of Wisconsin. She has an impressive resume against international competition. In fact, she helped the United States win gold at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship. If the United States want to earn at least a silver medal at the 2014 Win’ter Olympics, Duggan needs to play well as the team is counting on her.
Since team Canada is expected to medal at the tournament, the team’s three alternative captains are also key hockey players at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The three alternative captains are Jayna Hefford, Catherine Ward, and Hayley Wickenheiser.
Possible outcome of the Women’s Ice Hockey tournament
The United States women’s national ice hockey team is likely to medal, along with team Canada. Team Canada probably has the better chance of the two countries to win the gold medal as they have won gold in every tournament except for the first one. It is unclear which country could also medal in the tournament, although team Russia has a chance as the country is hosting the Winter Olympics.
Gregory Heakes, “US and Canada, brawling pals of women’s ice hockey,”
Stephen Smith, “U.S. women’s hockey star: Elusive Olympic gold medal “haunts” team,” CBS News.