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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Canada vs USA, what could be better?

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Plus Natalie Darwitz to join the US Hall of Fame and Sara Benz hangs up her skates.

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Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Event of the Week: USA vs Canada Summer Series

U.S. Under-18 and Under-22 Women’s Select Teams Named For 2018 Series vs. Canada
Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Development and Under-18 Teams to face United States
USA vs. Canada U18 Summer Series Preview - SB Nation College Hockey
Olympic gold medalists back on the ice at the Women’s National Festival

When

It might be August, a total hockey dead zone on the calendar, but Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have come through for us in these trying times. After the selection last week of the Under-18 and Under-22 teams (the latter is also called the National Women’s Development Team by Hockey Canada, although for the duration of this tournament all players are under 22), all four teams will gather in Calgary for a pair of three-game series from August 16-19.

Canada vs USA Women’s U-18s

Day Time Arena
Day Time Arena
Thurs Aug 16 4:00 pm MT / 6:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary
Fri Aug 17 4:00 pm MT / 6:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary
Sun Aug 19 1:00 pm MT / 3:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary

Canada vs USA Women’s U-22s

Day Time Arena
Day Time Arena
Thurs Aug 16 7:00 pm MT / 9:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary
Fri Aug 17 7:00 pm MT / 9:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary
Sun Aug 19 10:00 am MT / 12:00 pm ET Markin MacPhail Centre, Calgary

How to watch

The games will be streamed through the streaming service HockeyTV, accessible both directly from the service’s website (somewhat confusingly all six games are listed as the U-18 series) and through Hockey Canada’s website (U-22 and U-18). If you want to use HockeyTV you need an account but not a subscription — it seems as though the series will be one they offer for free.

Who to look for

The games at Canada’s development camp were plenty of fun—along with the Hockey Canada invites, Team Japan was there, as was a team made up of USports all-stars. The USports all-stars finished with the best record in the tournament, only losing one game to Japan, because USports players are Actually Good.

Canada vs. USA, though, is always going to be even more fun. While the U-18 series promises to be interesting—I’ve been hearing about Canada’s Alexie Guay from several corners for a while now, ditto USA’s Makenna Webster—I’m particularly excited to watch the U-22 teams. Team Canada includes last year’s CWHL Rookie of the Year Sophie Shirley, NCAA champion and Worlds silver medalist Sarah Potomak, and terrifying wonder-child Daryl Watts, who spent last year gleefully destroying defenses across the NCAA and is the only player to ever win the Patty Kazmaier Award as a freshman. Meanwhile, Team USA has two Olympic gold medalists in Cayla Barnes and Maddie Rooney, as well as Watts’ collegiate partner in crime Caitrin Lonergan, and Katie Burt, newly signed by the NWHL’s Boston Pride. Three games of these young women going head to head is exactly what we all needed to get through the August dead zone.

International hockey

Retirement at age 25 - Sara Benz has decided to hang up her skates - swisshockeynews.ch
Swiss international Sara Benz has decided to put an end to her professional hockey career at the age of 25, the ZSC Lions Women’s team announced on Facebook today.

Ex-Gopher Natalie Darwitz to be Inducted in the US Hockey Hall of Fame - The Daily Gopher
The former Gopher great is one of five inductees in the class of 2018

3-time Olympian Natalie Darwitz To Be Enshrined Into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
Natalie Darwitz is already one of the most decorated U.S. women’s ice hockey players of all time. Now, she can add Hall of Famer to her list of accomplishments.

Alaskans collect medals, including gold in women’s hockey, at Gay Games - Anchorage Daily News
Three individuals and one team returned from Paris with medals.

Richmond trio to face-off against Chinese Development Team at UBC
A trio of Richmond players will be suiting up for the South Coast Women’s Hockey Selects when they take on Team Shenzen of China on Sunday, Aug. 19 at UBC.

CWHL

CWHL Draft: 10 incoming rookies who could make noise next season – TheHockeyNews
The CWHL draft is set to take place in less than three weeks’ time in Toronto, and with the registration for incoming players set to close Friday, it appears we can finally get a full glimpse of the talent set to enter the league next season, including a number of notable rookies who could turn heads in 2018-19.

Hilary Knight will be back with Les Canadiennes this season - Eyes On The Prize
On her instagram, Knight says there’s “unfinished business”

Courtney Kessel on coaching fast track with Toronto Furies, Hockey Canada - The Globe and Mail
The head coach of the Furies – and the sister-in-law of former Maple Leaf Phil Kessel – has a hockey pedigree of her own

Calgary Inferno busy in CWHL off-season | Calgary Herald
The Calgary Inferno have been one of the busiest teams in the CWHL off-season and remained busy Wednesday by announcing the draft pre-signing of forward Rebecca Leslie.

Laura Stacey looks towards future after year to remember - The Ice Garden
An “unbelievable” year for Stacey

DURHAM TOTAL SPORTS | Jim Jackson’s Hockey Life
Oshawa native Jim Jackson looks back on his career in the NHL and Oshawa Generals as well as his current job as a head coach of the Markham Thunder.

NWHL

2018 NWHL Free Agency Tracker - The Ice Garden
Your convenient one-stop shop for all the NWHL signing news. Highlights: Boston re-signed three, including Jillian Dempsey. Whitecaps added Meaghan Pezon and Amanda Boulier. Riveters gained some rookies.

NWHL Notebook: A Wild Alignment
Several players have signed deals over the last week. In addition, the NWHL announced an alignment between the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Whitecaps, and the league provided some information about its 2018 Draft.

Reflecting on team stat trends from the 2017-18 NWHL season - The Ice Garden
Context is everything.

Why nobody is having a better 2018 than Haley Skarupa - The Ice Garden
Will her year of awesomeness lead the Pride back to the Isobel Cup Final?

NCAA

UMaine Sports Hall of Famer Standbrook’s granddaughter named Black Bear assistant — University of Maine Black Bear Sports — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine
Emily Bruns, who has spent the past two years working with the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, has been hired as an assistant coach along with former Lindenwood University (Missouri) men’s club hockey assistant Trey Flesch.