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New Coach, Same Expectations for U.S. Women at Four Nations Cup

11/04/2018, 3:45pm EST
By Dan Scifo

Team USA is seeking its fourth straight Four Nations title under new coach Bob Corkum

Bob Corkum is a first-year coach with the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team, but that doesn’t mean anything is going to change about the team’s approach entering the upcoming Four Nations Cup.

The U.S. Women’s National Team will settle for nothing less than its fourth consecutive championship at the Four Nations, which runs from Nov. 6-10 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“The expectations are what they’ve always been, to win everything that we go to,” Corkum said. “Will that happen every time? No, but certainly those are our expectations, and we want to get better every day.”

Many players from the U.S. Women’s National Team are playing in their first tournament since winning gold at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The U.S. claimed its second-ever Olympic gold medal — and first since 1998 — by defeating rival Canada, 3-2, in a shootout, a thrilling result that is considered one of the greatest games in U.S. women’s hockey history.

But that doesn’t mean anyone on Team USA is satisfied.

“The expectation is to continue to raise the bar,” Corkum said. “The U.S. women’s hockey family has done an extraordinary job of raising the level to the point where now we’re at the top of the mountain. The women have a clear objective in mind and we’re going to run with it.”

Corkum feels the target is placed squarely on the red, white and blue entering the Four Nations Cup.

“Without question, when you’re on top, there’s always somebody who wants to take your position,” Corkum said. “Everybody’s coming for us and we know that. We have to find ways not to be complacent and just keep moving forward.”

The U.S. women haven’t lost a tournament title since the 2014 Four Nations Cup when Canada upended the Americans in Kamloops, British Columbia.

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The U.S. followed it up with three straight Four Nations Cup championships in Sweden, Finland and Tampa, Florida, last year. The U.S. also won the last four IIHF Women’s World Championships, including the 2017 tournament at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, the first time the Americans won on home soil.

The 23-player roster for this year’s Four Nations Cup features 16 Olympians who won gold last February in PyeongChang. Corkum, a former assistant coach with the New York Islanders, was named head coach of the squad on Oct. 29, while Joel Johnson and Brian Pothier will join the staff as assistants.

“I’m just trying to learn as I go and starting to build quality relationships with the women,” Corkum said. “I think having Joel and Brian assisting me on the bench will be an enormous help. I want to move them forward to keep them pressing and moving the bar.”

Corkum, a native of Salisbury, Massachusetts, will serve as the U.S. coach for the duration of the 2018-19 season. In August, he was an assistant with the U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team for the U22 Series against Canada in Calgary where the Americans posted a three-game sweep.

That was his first experience on the women’s side, after previously coaching the U.S. men at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia. Corkum’s playing career included four years at the University of Maine, followed by 12 years in the NHL.

“I have good limited experience on the women’s side, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” Corkum said.

Corkum may be newer to the women’s game, but his expectations within the program remain the same.

“To win more medals,” Corkum said. “The gold medal is in the past and we’re looking forward to the future. We want to stay consistent and manage the highs and lows, and continue the process of seeing these girls develop. It’s a great group of women who work extremely hard, they’re dedicated and they bring it every time.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Time (local/ET) Venue Location Live Stream
Tues., Nov. 6 Finland W, 5-1 SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, Sask. Live Stream
Wed., Nov. 7 Canada W, 2-1 SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, Sask. Live Stream
Fri., Nov. 9 Sweden W, 5-1 SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, Sask. Live Stream
Sat., Nov. 10 Championship Game W, 5-2 SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, Sask. Live Stream

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