skip navigation

New York Native Hayley Scamurra Excited to Experience Home-Ice Advantage at Women’s Worlds

By Heather Rule, 03/26/24, 4:45PM EDT


The U.S is hosting the tournament in Utica, N.Y. April 3-14

Hayley Scamurra, in the USA Hockey navy jersey, moves the puck along the boards with a Canada opponent right at her back

Hayley Scamurra grew up in Buffalo, New York, about 200 miles away from Utica, New York, the site of the upcoming 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship. 

As a forward for Team USA, Scamurra is excited about the prospect of home-ice advantage, playing not only in the U.S., but in her home state of New York.

“A lot of my family can come to Worlds, which is super exciting,” Scamurra said. “Most of our recent Rivalry Series games have been on the west coast lately, so it’s been harder for them to come out. I’m super excited. It’s driving distance for everyone I know. I’m sure I’m going to have a big home crowd there.”

The U.S. will get the chance to defend its gold medal on home ice, as the Women’s World Championship will be held April 3-14 at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica. The 10-team tournament includes 29 games featuring the top women’s hockey players from all over the world. 

Fans can learn more about the U.S. Women’s National Team in the six-part docuseries – Defending Their Ice – on NHL Network. The 30-minute episodes dive into different aspects of what it takes to succeed both on and off the ice at the national team level and will offer a behind-the-curtain look at Team USA throughout the entirety of the 2023-24 season, starting from puck drop on game one of the Rivalry Series all the way to the final whistle of the Women’s World Championship in April. 

Defending Their Ice Trailer

No matter where the tournament is held, players feed off the crowd’s energy, Scamurra said. She added that last year’s World Championship was the first time they had a full crowd for an international tournament since the pandemic. While nice to play in front of full stands, it was in rival territory being played in Brampton, Ontario.

“Even when it’s the away crowd, it’s still fun to feel their energy and then make them quiet a little bit,” Scamurra said. “But then when it’s your own home crowd, you just feed off their energy. When they’re excited for you, you get more excited, and you want to play more for them.”

It’s the first time the event is being held in the United States since 2017, when Plymouth, Michigan, hosted the tournament and saw the U.S. win gold. The World Championship was also held in the United States in 1994 (Lake Placid, New York), 2001 (Minneapolis) and 2012 (Burlington, Vermont), which were all years Canada defeated Team USA in the gold-medal game.

Team USA has played in all 22 World Championship gold-medal games, winning 10 times and taking home silver 12 times. The U.S. opens play this year against Switzerland on April 3 in the first of four preliminary-round games.

While the Americans come in as the defending champs, Scamurra looks at last year’s World Championship as separate from this year’s tournament.

“It’s going to be a new team. It’s going to be a new group,” Scamurra said. “Even if the team has a number of returners from last year, we are all set on a new goal. It’s just winning gold again on home ice.”

“It’s a whole different beast. We’re just really excited to prove ourselves again.”

The World Championship take place this year a couple of months after Team USA and Team Canada finished up their seven-game Rivalry Series, with Canada getting the edge, winning the final four games of the series.

Many of the national team players, for the U.S. and Canada, overlap with rosters for the PWHL, which is in the middle of its inaugural season. However, that certainly hasn’t changed the rivalry between the two countries much when it comes to on-ice play.

“I would say the intensity is still the same,” said Scamurra, who plays for PWHL Ottawa. “If anything, the pro league just helps us all stay on top of our game. It makes what you’re going to see at worlds even more competitive and even more intense.”

With so many players on the national team rosters now playing in the PWHL, the hockey doesn’t stop. Preparing for the World Championship includes more than play on the ice, but also players learning how to take care of their bodies, Scamurra said.

“With our travel schedules and the more intense game schedules, it’s learning what we need to do in order to be prepared for the next games and be able to give your all each game,” Scamurra said. “It’s a learning curve, but I feel we’re adjusting and figuring it out.

“We’ll be ready come Worlds.” 

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, USA Hockey will be celebrating the women across our game throughout the month of March. To learn more about Women’s History Month, visit

More USA Hockey News