Get ready to dive into the exciting world of ice hockey at the 2018 winter olympics – women! Follow the history, qualifying teams, key players, format, predictions, and expectations in this informative article.
Ice hockey is one of the most popular winter sports globally, and every four years, the world’s best players come together to compete in the Winter Olympics. The 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was not an exception, and the women’s ice hockey tournament was one of the most exciting events of the competition. In this article, we will take a closer look at ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics – Women, including the history of the tournament, qualifying teams, key players to watch, schedule and format, and predictions and expectations.
Women’s ice hockey made its debut at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, in 1998, where the United States won the gold medal. Since then, the United States and Canada have dominated the tournament, winning all the gold medals except one since 1998. The two teams have a fierce rivalry, and their matches are always intense and thrilling to watch.
However, in the 2018 Winter Olympics, there was a significant change in the tournament’s format. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to reduce the number of teams participating in the tournament from eight to seven by eliminating the preliminary round. Instead, the top four ranked teams in the world received byes to the quarter-finals, while the remaining three teams had to play in a play-in round to determine the quarter-final matchups.
The change in the format created a lot of controversy, especially among the teams that did not receive byes. However, the IOC argued that the change was necessary to make the tournament more competitive and reduce the number of lopsided matches.
In the next section, we will take a closer look at the qualifying teams for the women’s ice hockey tournament and their chances of winning.
The seven teams that participated in the women’s ice hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics were the United States, Canada, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Korea. The top four ranked teams in the world, the United States, Canada, Finland, and Russia, received byes to the quarter-finals, while the remaining three teams had to play in a play-in round.
The United States and Canada were the favorites to win the gold medal, and their games against each other were highly anticipated. Finland was also a strong contender, having won the bronze medal in the 2010 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland were considered underdogs but had the potential to cause upsets.
South Korea, the host nation, was the least experienced team in the tournament, having never qualified for the Olympics before. However, they received a lot of support from the home crowd and aimed to make the most of their opportunity to compete on the world stage.
Key Players to Watch
The women’s ice hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics featured some of the best players in the world. The top players to watch included:
Hilary Knight (United States): Knight was one of the top scorers in the tournament and a key player for the United States. She had previously won two silver medals and a bronze medal at the Olympics and was determined to win the gold.
Marie-Philip Poulin (Canada): Poulin was the hero of the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, scoring the game-winning goals in the gold medal matches against the United States. She was a captain for the Canadian team and had a reputation for stepping up in big games.
Noora Raty (Finland): Raty was one of the best goalies in the world and was instrumental in Finland winning the bronze medal in 2010 and 2018. She had previously played college hockey in the United States and was familiar with many of the American players.
Amanda Kessel (United States): Kessel was one of the top scorers for the United States and had previously won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. She was also the sister of NHL player Phil Kessel and had a lot of talent and experience.
These players, along with many others, were expected to have a significant impact on the tournament and could potentially lead their teams to victory. In the next section, we will take a closer look at the schedule and format of the women’s ice hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics.