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WWC Notebook: Gold-Medal Game Bound!

By USA Hockey, 08/27/21, 3:00PM EDT

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Follow along on Team USA's journey during the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship

The 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship is set for August 20-31, 2021. The WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta, will play host to all 31 games of the championship. Follow along with the daily notebook on Team USA's road to gold.


August 30: USA 3, Finland 0 (Semifinals)

Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) netted the game-winning goal and Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) recorded her second shutout of the tournament as the U.S. (5-0-0-1) skated to a 3-0 victory over Finland in the semifinals of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.) and Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) also recorded goals for Team USA.

The U.S. will compete for a sixth-straight WWC gold medal tomorrow when it takes on Canada in the gold-medal game at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

The U.S. has reached the gold medal game in all 19 of the events, capturing the event’s top prize the last five years and now a total of nine times (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), including eight of the last nine tournaments. The U.S. had faced Canada in all 18 gold-medal games it played in up until 2019, when it faced Finland in the championship matchup.


August 29: Get Your Game Faces On

Coming off a 10-2 victory over Japan in the quarterfinals, the U.S. Women's National Team met for a solid on-ice session this morning in preparation to face Finland in the semifinals. 

After breakfast, the team made its way to the rink for practice. It was a glorious sunny day here in Calgary so players and staff took full advantage of the off-ice warmup being outside to soak up all the fresh air they could. 

Players skated for over an hour before getting off the ice to cool down and return to the hotel. There was a brief team meeting later that evening before dinner at the hotel restaurant. The team called it an early night to get plenty of rest before tomorrow's semifinal matchup against Finland. 

The U.S. and Finland will play at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow at WinSport Arena. The winner will go on to play the winner of Canada vs. Switzerland in the gold-medal game Tuesday. 


August 28: USA 10, Japan 2

Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) passed Hall of Famer Cammi Granato for the American all-time points record at Women's Worlds as the U.S. (4-0-0-1) skated to a 10-2 victory over Japan in the quarterfinals of the IIHF Women’s World Championship. 

Knight tied Granato’s 78-point record with a goal in the first, followed by her record-breaking point from an assist in the second.

14 different players registered a point in Team USA's victory and nine players finished with multi-point totals in the quarterfinal win. Knight and Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.) led the U.S. with three points apiece. Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) and Knight each scored twice for Team USA against Japan.

The U.S. Women's National Team will face Finland in the semifinals of the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship on Monday, August 30. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. ET at WinSport Arena and the game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NHL Network.


August 27: Back to Work

The U.S. Women’s National Team wasted no time getting back into the rink following its preliminary round loss to Canada. After breakfast and another round of COVID testing, the team loaded onto the bus and headed to the rink for a morning practice on Friday. 

After arriving at the rink, the players spent time warming up individually and as a team to prepare for today’s practice. The players took to the ice for over an hour of productive, high-energy practice before returning to the hotel for lunch this afternoon. 

Players and staff had some down time after lunch prior to gathering for a team meeting later in the afternoon. The team came together for dinner afterward before getting some rest ahead of the quarterfinals. 

The U.S. will face off against Japan in the quarterfinals Saturday (Aug. 28) at 3:30 p.m. ET at WinSport Arena. Fans can watch the game live in the U.S. on NHL Network. 


August 26: CAN 5, USA 1

Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) scored Team USA’s lone goal as the U.S. Women’s National Team dropped its final game of the preliminary round to Canada, 5-1, at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

The U.S. closed out the preliminary round 3-0-0-1 (O-OTW-OTL-L) after its loss to Canada. 

Up next, the U.S. Women's National Team will meet Japan in the quarterfinals on Saturday, August 28. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at WinSport Arena and the game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NHL Network. 


August 25: Rivalry Ready

Hot off a 6-0 victory against the Russian Olympic Committee, the U.S. Women's National Team practiced today to put the finishing touches on before its final preliminary round game against rival Canada on Thursday. 

Wednesday morning was relatively quiet to allow players to recover from last night's game. After lunch, players and staff loaded up and headed to the rink for practice. The team put in a good, hard session on the ice before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Team USA closes out the preliminary round on Thursday against Canada. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. ET at WinSport Arena and the game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NHL Network.


August 24: USA 6, ROC 0

Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) broke the all-time IIHF Women’s World Championship goal record as the U.S. (3-0-0-0) skated to a 6-0 victory over Team ROC in preliminary round play of the IIHF Women’s World Championship. With an assist on Knight's goal, Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) became the all-time U.S. assist leader in women's world championship play.

Knight's goal was her 45th in the women's worlds, eclipsing Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato, while Decker's assist was her 39th, passing Jenny Potter and Krissy Wendell.

Britta Curl (Bismarck, N.D.), Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.) and Jesse Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) each scored their first career goals with the U.S. Women's National Team to help Team USA to its 6-0 victory Tuesday. 

Up next, the U.S. closes out preliminary-round play Thursday (Aug. 26) against rival Canada at 6 p.m. ET. That game, along with every U.S. tournament game, will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.

August 23: Team Bonding

There was no practice held on Monday to give players and staff the day off in between preliminary round games.

After a restful morning, the team had the opportunity to get in a light session in the gym if they wanted to. The team convened in the hotel restaurant for a late lunch ahead of some fun afternoon team activities. 

Players and staff were put into four teams ahead of the 2021 WWC “Parking Lot" Party where teams competed in various lawn games, including a miniature-sized corn hole set.

It was an afternoon full of friendly competition and team bonding (socially distant and masked of course!). If you think things get competitive on the ice, you should see us off the ice. The team activities concluded with dinner before everyone got a good night of rest before tomorrow's game. 

The USWNT is back in action tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. ET against the Russian Olympic Committee. The game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NHL Network. 


August 22: USA 3, FIN 0

Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) recorded her 44th WWC goal to tie Cammi Granato as the Women’s Worlds all-time goal scorer to help the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 3-0 victory over Finland here tonight in preliminary play at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship at WinSport Arena.

After scoring her first-career USWNT goal against Switzerland, Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) scored again for Team USA against Finland, while Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) also tallied her first goal of the tournament. Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) stopped all 10 shots she faced to earn the shutout against Finland. 

The U.S. returns to the ice Tuesday, Aug. 24, against the Russian Olympic Committee at 2 p.m. ET. That game, along with every U.S. tournament game, will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.


August 21: Rest & Recovery

Coming off its 3-0 victory over Switzerland, the U.S. Women’s National Team got a good night of rest followed by a low-key Saturday morning. 

This afternoon, the team loaded on the bus and headed over to the rink for a lighter, evening practice in between games. Players and staff were able to watch bits and pieces of the other games going on at WinSport Arena. 

The team returned to the hotel for dinner and down-time in preparation for tomorrow's game. 

Up next, the U.S. meets Finland in its second preliminary round game Sunday at WinSport Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. local time/9:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.


August 20: USA 3, SUI 0

The U.S. Women's National Team opened the preliminary round of the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship with a 3-0 victory against Switzerland Friday at WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alberta. 

Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) each tallied a goal and an assist for Team USA and Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) netted her first career goal with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

With her assist, Decker tied Krissy Wendell (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Jennie Potter (Edina, Minn.) for all-time assists recorded by an American at the Women’s World Championship with 38.

The U.S. continues play on Sunday, August 22 against Finland at 9:30 p.m. ET. That game, along with every U.S. tournament game, will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.


Grace Zumwinkle poses with the puck from her first career goal with the USWNT.


August 19: Finishing Touches

After defeating the Russian Olympic Committee 6-0 in its lone pre-tournament matchup, the U.S. Women's National Team spent Thursday working through the finishing touches in preparation for the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship. 

The U.S. opens the preliminary round Friday, August 20 when it takes on Switzerland. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. local time/9:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.

After breakfast and another round of COVID tests, the team boarded the bus for the rink. The rain held out long enough for Team USA to get their pre-practice warmup in outside and then players got suited up for practice. 

Players and staff returned to the hotel after practice for lunch, afternoon workouts and then dinner before getting a good night's sleep before tomorrow's game. 


August 18: USA 6, ROC 0 (exhibition)

The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 6-0 in its lone pre-tournament matchup ahead of the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship at Winsport Arena Wednesday afternoon.

Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) scored twice for the U.S. along with Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.), Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.), Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) and Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, Ill.) who each added a tally for Team USA.

Alex Cavallini (Delafield, Wis.) and Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) shared time in net for the U.S. and combined to stop all 15 shots.

The U.S. opens preliminary round play on Friday, Aug. 20 against Switzerland at 9:30 p.m. ET. That game, along with every U.S. tournament game, will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.


August 17: AYE AYE CAPTAIN

SAY CHEESE! It’s picture day at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Prior to the team’s second practice of the tournament, players and staff had their portraits and group photo taken, but then it was back to business. 

Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) will serve as captain of Team USA for the second-straight IIHF women’s world championship with Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) as alternates. Per IIHF rules, each team can only have two alternate captains in a game. Knight will be a mainstay alternate captain while Decker and Stecklein will trade off games wearing the ‘A’. 

“This leadership group really embodies what it means to be a captain,” said Team USA head coach Joel Johnson.  “It is always an honor to wear the USA crest and put on that jersey, but to wear the 'C' or the 'A' means that much more and this is such a deserving group of individuals."

Knight and Stecklein will serve as alternates in Team USA’s pre-tournament matchup against Russia on Wednesday, August 18 at 2 p.m. ET (live on NHL Network).


Left to right: Lee Stecklein, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker


August 16: Free at last! 

All COVID-19 test results came back negative, allowing the U.S. Women’s National Team to exit quarantine on Monday morning. Hmmm where's the first place the team would go after a five-day quarantine? THE RINK OF COURSE. 

After a pre-skate meal at the hotel, players and staff piled onto the bus (safely and spread out of course) for the 20ish minute bus ride from downtown Calgary out to WinSport Arena for the team's first practice. 

It was all smiles from players and staff as Team USA hit the ice for an hour and a half. All the smiling was good practice in preparation for picture day tomorrow. 

In addition to all the smiles, the game faces were out and ready for the team’s first practice leading up to the exhibition game against Russia on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

 


August 15: Positive Vibes, Negative Tests

The U.S. Women’s National Team is less than 24 hours away from concluding its mandatory five-day quarantine here in Calgary leading up to the IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Players and staff all received COVID-19 tests this morning and will be able to exit the quarantine period tomorrow after all tests come back negative. Players will then have access to train in the hotel gym (masked and social distanced of course!). 

After lunch, the team will depart for the rink and hit the ice for the first time since arriving in Calgary. The U.S. Women’s National Team will have two days of practices before taking on Russia in an exhibition matchup on Wednesday, August 18 at 2 p.m. ET. 

With quarantine coming to a close, players and staff are relishing in their last few hotel room workouts, finishing up any books or shows they started and are getting ready for an action-packed week in preparation for the team’s first preliminary round game on Friday, August 20 against Switzerland. 


The U.S. Women's National Team will exit quarantine Monday morning (pending all negative COVID test results) for their first practice.


August 14: Risky Business

Four days down, one to go! 

The U.S. Women's National Team has just one more day left in quarantine after today leading up to the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship in Calgary, Alberta.

Players and staff will all receive another COVID test tomorrow morning in order to exit quarantine on Monday. 

Forward Lacey Eden (Annapolis, Md.) had some fun with her hotel room workout today and channeled her inner Risky Business. Adding Risky Business to our list of things to watch as we speak!

Eden is one of 10 players making their world championship debut in Calgary, joining Natalie Buchbinder (Fairport, N.Y.), Jincy Dunne (O'Fallon, Mo.), Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.) and Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.).

Britta Curl (Bismarck, N.D.), Aerin Frankel (New York, N.Y.), Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, Ill.), Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) and Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) are also making their World Championship debuts after cracking the roster in 2020 before the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Either way, the newcomers, veteran players, staff and all involved are counting down the hours until Team USA can take to the ice here in Calgary as we prepare for the upcoming world championship. 

Check out Team USA's full game schedule here


August 13: Are We There Yet?

In the famous words of the Jon Bon Jovi...*clears throat*..."WHOOOA WE'RE HALFWAY THERE." 

Happy Friday, everyone! Is it still #FridayFeeling if you don't know what day it is/haven't left your hotel room for three days?

The U.S. Women's National Team is one day closer to hitting the ice here in Calgary as the team powers through Day 3 of this five-day quarantine. 

In addition to the usual agenda of workouts, books, tv shows and Facetimes, players and staff are finding creative ways to stay busy during quarantine.

Goaltender Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) found a unique way to practice her golf game in the confines of her hotel room. She posted this video on her Instagram (@nichens29) and asked teammate Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) to critique her swing. 

Needless to say the team is finding ways to stay busy and keep each other company, but also...is it Monday yet?


August 12: ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM!

Tick tock...tick tock...but also TikTok. Time is ticking away as the U.S. Women's National Team concludes its second day of quarantine in Calgary leading up to the IIHF Women's World Championship. 

Following morning workouts and breakfast delivery, players and staff met late morning for a video session to prepare for the upcoming world championship. In addition to formal team meetings, there has been lots of room-to-room communication through Zoom and FaceTime. Two down, three to go!

 


August 11: Quarantine Begins in Calgary

After a successful five-day training camp in Blaine, Minnesota, the U.S. Women's National Team arrived in Calgary, Alberta Tuesday evening ahead of the IIHF Women's World Championship.

Immediately upon arrival, players and staff were tested for COVID-19 and then took to their rooms to begin the mandatory five-day quarantine period. 

In addition to the many group chats between players, staff and the combined, each member of the team was assigned a check-in buddy to keep in touch during quarantine.

Overlooking downtown Calgary, the team has only been able to enjoy *views* of the city in addition to quarantine snacks, hotel room workouts and lots of binge watching. Teamwork makes the dream work on the ice, but trust us there's lots of teamwork happening virtually and from a far to keep everyone busy during this quarantine period. 


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Team USA's Hilary Knight skates onto the ice, with text stating "Single Game Preliminary Round tickets on sale now"