The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team opens play today at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship against Sweden at the Ice Palace in Dmitrov, Russia. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. local time/11:30 a.m. ET. Team USA will take part in a morning skate from 11-11:45 a.m. local time before hitting the ice tonight. 


The International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship is in its 11th year after the inaugural tournament was held in Calgary in 2008. Subsequently, the event was held in Fussen, Germany, in 2009, Chicago in 2010, Stocholm, Sweden, in 2011, Zlin, Czech Republic, in 2012, Heinola, Finland, in 2013, Budapest, Hungary, in 2014, Buffalo, New York, in 2015, St. Catharines, Ontario, in 2016 and Zlin & Prerov, Czech Republic in 2017. The U.S. and Canada have met in the gold-medal game in all 10 previous competitions, with the U.S. having a 6-4 advantage in those contests. 

The tournament features eight teams divided into two groups. Group A consists of the United States, Canada, Russia and Sweden, while Group B features the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Switzerland. The teams will play a round-robin within their groups, with the top two teams in Group A earning a bye to the semifinals. The third and fourth-place teams in Group A will square off against the top two teams in Group B in the quarterfinals, and the third and fourth-place teams from Group B will face each other in the relegation round.