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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Don’t worry, Team USA are still the favourites

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Four Nations Cup approaches, Nova Scotia hosting Worlds 2020, and streaming hockey from Australia.

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Women Team Semifinal - USA-FIN
Hannah Brandt and Noora Räty will compete again at Four Nations Cup
David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

Story of the week

Reagan Carey Leaving USA Hockey After Leading USWNT Program To Record Success

IIHF - New coach for U.S. women

Former UMaine player to coach US women’s national team in 2018-19 — Ice Hockey — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Four Nations Cup, the annual women’s hockey tournament that pits Canada, Finland, Sweden and USA against each other, begins next week. It’s the only annual tournament that USA and Canada participate in outside of the World Championships. So of course, we have Team USA drama.

Reagan Carey, the director of USA Hockey’s women’s program for the past eight years, stepped down this past weekend, nine days before the start of the tournament. Carey was also the GM for the USWNT. USA Hockey has not named an interim for either position. There’s also been no indication what “other opportunities” Carey stepped down for and why they couldn’t wait two weeks.

Further to that, at the time of the announcement USA Hockey had yet to name a coaching staff for Four Nations Cup. They announced the staff on Monday, with players already in Chicago to start the pre-tournament camp. In doing so they indicated that Bob Corkum, the head coach for Four Nations Cup, would be the head coach for the season, a break from recent times when the head coach was appointed on a per-event basis. What this says about USA Hockey’s faith in Robb Stauber, the only coach for whom they used this policy, is up to you to decipher.

These moves leave plenty of room for speculation, especially since none of the coaches who won Olympic gold a few months ago seem to have been invited back. But really, why bother?

Dear USA Hockey, stop manufacturing ways to make the USWNT feel like they’re underdogs. This is not Miracle. They haven’t lost a major tournament since 2014. If they win this tournament it won’t be because they overcame the “overwhelming odds” of a women’s program suddenly without a director and a somewhat tenuously qualified coaching staff announced at the last minute. If they don’t win it will be a shock.

Hockey Canada has made some changes to top personnel over the past year, and there are a few new faces on the Team Canada roster for Four Nations, but they still have issues in the areas of scouting and team chemistry that will take some time to fix. And woe betide them if Shannon Szabados gets hurt— her backups are very good but haven’t quite hit “elite” in the same way yet.

After far too many years under Leif Boork, Team Sweden’s just starting to fix the mess. They’re doing so without funding from their national Olympic federation, although with some new help from their hockey federation. New coach Ylva Martinsen looks to be a positive development, but they’re showing up without top goalie Sara Grahn or indeed any of their Olympic goalies.

Finland has a well-respected coach, a team that’s always in contention for a bronze at Worlds and even threatened for higher in 2017. However, there’s only so much Noora Räty can do, and Finland struggles to score consistently against Team Canada and Team USA.

That USA Hockey always creates some odd stumbling block as a tactic to inspire their team is, of course, the most favourable possible interpretation of things. As we pointed out last week, USA Hockey’s support of its women’s team is at best inconsistent. The team succeeds anyway, because they’re just that good, but this kind of administrative hullabaloo is a distraction—and a stupid one!

Far be it from me to suggest things that might improve the USWNT even more, but perhaps if USA Hockey got their house in order on the administrative side of things, their extremely dominant national team could continue to wreck worlds and create good press without the distraction of questions like “but do they have a coach, though?”

International hockey

Pyeongchang silver motivating Renata Fast ahead of Four Nations Cup - Sportsnet.ca
To Burlington, Ont., native and Canadian women’s national teamer Renata Fast, the upcoming Four Nations Cup means one thing: a rematch with Team USA.

IIHF - Martinsen’s tough job
New coach wants to take Sweden back to medals

2018 Four Nations Cup Notebook: USA Hockey
Daily updates from training camp as Team USA aims for a fourth straight Four Nations Cup title.

Kuwait’s women hockey defeated by Hong Kong team in Bangkok tourney | MENAFN.COM
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT, Oct 30 (KUNA) -- Kuwaiti women’s ice hockey team lost their first match to a Hong Kong team at opener of Bangkok tournament which included a number of Asian teams.

Nova Scotia to host 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship
Hockey Canada announces Halifax and Truro as host cities

Nova Scotia wins bid to host 2020 IIHF women’s world hockey championship | Hockey | Sports | The Chronicle Herald
Jill Saulnier and Blayre Turnbull get excited just thinking about hanging women’s world hockey gold medals around their necks in front of a Scotiabank Centre crowd jam-packed with adoring Nova Scotia hockey fans.

CWHL

Markham Thunder lose 3-2 to Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays - mediajunkie
A 28 save performance by Liz Knox was not enough to get the win.

CWHL Recap: Thunder beat Rays 1-0, Furies lose to Canadiennes 1-0 - nafio and mediajunkie
Victoria Bach scores for the Thunder while Erin Ambrose scores on her old team.

CWHL Recap: Toronto Furies swept 7-0 by Canadiennes de Montréal - Pension Plan Puppets
Maschmeyer stood tall and a number of Montréal rookies got their first CWHL goals.

Inferno Report: Blades worst-er in 9-0 rout – Flamesnation

Les Canadiennes sweep Toronto Furies, extend winning streak to four games - Eyes On The Prize
Montreal’s offence explodes in the second game of the weekend series.

Worcester Blades: Holy Cross grad Nicole Giannino has crosstown doubleheader on tap - News - telegram.com - Worcester, MA
WORCESTER — Ice time is always hard to come by, but if things go as hoped, Nicole Giannino will be awash in rink riches this weekend.

NWHL

Minnesota Whitecaps Finish Buffalo Beauts Sweep with 2-1 Victory, Remain Undefeated NWHL - Hockey Wilderness
Sunday the Minnesota Whitecaps finished their home series against the Buffalo Beauts in front of yet another sold out crowd at the TRIA Rink.

Beauts drop first of the season to league leading Whitecaps - Die By The Blade
Team fails first big test of the season, has a chance for quick redemption

Minnesota Whitecaps Keep Winning, Best Previously Undefeated Buffalo Beauts NWHL - Hockey Wilderness
In a heart pounding finish the Minnesota Whitecaps beat the Buffalo Beauts 3-2, and remain the only undefeated team in the NWHL.

NWHL Weekend Wrap: Week Four
Through six games, the Minnesota Whitecaps remain undefeated after sweeping this past weekend’s series against the Buffalo Beauts. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Riveters finally found their first win of the season, defeating the Boston Pride to get a pair of points in the standings.

NWHL Stock Report: Who’s up and who’s down after week 3 - The Ice Garden
The ‘Caps are rollin’, the Rivs are Actually Bad, and the Whale showed some fight in Week 3

Exclusive: All 5 NWHL teams will play in 2019 Isobel Cup Playoffs - The Ice Garden
The NWHL will have a unique format for the 2019 Playoffs

How two of the world’s best goalies are thriving with the Beauts – The Buffalo News
Buffalos Nicole Hensley and Shannon Szabados are teammates in every sense of the word.

Boston Pride announce partnership with Warrior Hockey - The Ice Garden
Warrior becomes the latest company to invest in the NWHL

Behind the scenes during a game with the Boston Pride women’s hockey team – The Athletic [SUBSCRIPTION]
Most members of this team from the NWHL, now in its fourth season, have regular jobs. We spent a game with them learning how they go about their business.

Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Brandt Stays True To The State Of Hockey, Playing For Minnesota’s First NWHL Team
As a young hockey player growing up in Minnesota, Hannah Brandt didn’t have a professional women’s hockey league to look up to. Fast forward just a few years and Brandt is now a star for the women’s pro team right in her hometown.

NCAA

Polls: USCHO - USA Today - The Ice Garden

Looking to Remain National Powerhouse, No. 7 Women’s Hockey Opens With Strong Win Over Syracuse | The Cornell Daily Sun
Cornell women’s hockey started its quest to the Frozen Four with a 4-1 win over Syracuse on Tuesday.

College women’s hockey: U.S. National Team call-up a “surreal” moment for Bulldogs’ Brodt | Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota Duluth co-captain Sydney Brodt will fulfill a lifelong goal next month when she suits up for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Four Nations Cup on Nov. 6-10 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

NMU to continue pursuing idea of adding Division I women’s hockey | News, Sports, Jobs - The Mining Journal
MARQUETTE — Two days ago, the Northern Michigan University athletic department floated the idea of adding more sports with the biggest potential idea being Di

Women’s College Hockey: BSU, SCSU teams to play benefit game in Brainerd | Brainerd Dispatch
Bemidji State University and St. Cloud State University, two of the top teams in the Women’s WCHA, will meet in the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Brainerd’s Essential Health Sports Center.

Wisconsin Badgers Bite Back, Splitting Border Battle with Minnesota Gophers Women WCHA - Hockey Wilderness
Gopher Women’s Hockey lost 4-1 to Wisconsin on the road, splitting the series.

NCAA Highlight: Sarah Potomak

‘I’d prefer to be Darth Vader’: The story behind Ohio State’s all-black third jerseys – The Athletic [SUBSCRIPTION]
When the No. 4 Buckeyes (7-3-0) traveled to then No. 3 Minnesota last weekend, they wanted to make some noise. And they ended up doing that, not just in how they played, but also in what they wore.

U Sports

TOP 10 TUESDAY — U SPORTS
Université de Montréal moves into first place in women’s hockey.

Women’s hockey team still looking for first win of the season - The Fulcrum
The Gee-Gees women’s hockey team continued to struggle the afternoon of Oct. 27 against the McGill Martlets..

Bujold takes on leadership role at St. F.X. | Hockey | Sports | The Chronicle Herald
Winning at the university level came quickly for Sarah Bujold.

Stingers women’s hockey team looks to build on championship - The Concordian
Coming off a RSEQ championship, Julie Chu, head coach of the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, says communication is key for another title.

AWIHL (Australia)

AWIHL news: 27 October 2018 | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Goannas have named their team leaders for the 2018-19 season.

2018-19 AWIHL season: Round 1 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 1 of the 2018-19 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League season has finished with the Melbourne Ice defeating the Brisbane Goannas in both games of their double header.

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden) Göteborg shocks Leksand in SDHL | Aftonbladet
Gothenburg shocked the top team Leksand in SDHL

Penalties were allowed to determine the final price in SDHL | Aftonbladet
Just like last weekend, when Luleå won against Linköping with 5-4 away, the final prize this week became a consistent story.

Mum’s testimony frees Adam Göransson | Aftonbladet
Modo’s Adam Göransson was suspended, and was reported for violating the suspension

WHL (Russia) Women’s Hockey Update: October 25th, 2018 | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Time to get caught on doings in the Women’s Hockey League, which is approaching the halfway point of the 2018-19 campaign.