The IIHF Women's World Championships starts on Wednesday and runs to Sunday, April 14.

As you may have noticed, the PWHL has gone dark, and they will return to finish their season after worlds is over. The European leagues are done for the year, and it's pretty obvious the timing of worlds is going to have to change in the future. The August tournament in Olympic years may need to become the usual time for the championship. Next year's tournament is already set for April, but after that, the schedule is open to new ideas if the IIHF is.

This year's tournament is in Utica, New York, home of the AHL Comets. Utica hosted the PWHL preseason scrimmage tournament and fan fest, a very successful event. They've built off of that interest to sell out the Canada - USA game very quickly, and we can hope for good crowds for all the games. All games will be held at the Adirondack Bank Center, or the arena as everyone likely calls it. It has a capacity of just under 4,000 for hockey, so a good size that won't be echoingly empty when Denmark plays Germany.

Utica is a straight run down from the bridge at Gananoque, so a lot of Canadian fans will be there to cheer on Natalie Spooner and the rest of Team Canada.


The format is as usual for women's worlds. The 10 teams are split into two groups that are tiered, unlike at the WJC or men's worlds. Group B play each other and the top three teams advance to the quarterfinals to join the five teams in Group A. Group A's preliminary round, therefore, is all about order of finish. No team is eliminated.

The winners of the quarterfinals move on to the semifinals and medal games as normal.

Group A

  • Canada
  • Czechia
  • Finland
  • Switzerland
  • USA

Group B

  • China
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Sweden

Points, placement and overtime

The tournament uses a three point system, familiar to all PWHL fans.

There is a knockout set of games for the losers of the quaterfinals to set the order of placement. The fifth-place finisher gets Group A seeding next year, making that a very important part of the background of the event.

Overtime in all preliminary round games is five minutes of three-on-three followed by a shootout. In placement, relegation, quaterfinal or semifinal or bronze medal games, overtime is 10 minutes of three-on-three followed by a shootout. In the gold medal game, 20 minute three-on-three periods are played until the game is decided.

The shootout, which is like the PWHL format, requires five different skaters to take a shot for each team. At that point, any shooter can take shots, including repeat attempts.


Team Canada is absolutely chock full of PWHL Toronto players. The expectation is that Marie-Philip Poulin will be able to play – she has missed several PWHL games with an injury. Some attention should be paid to Sarah Fillier, a possible first overall draft pick for the PWHL 2024 draft. Also check out Danielle Serdachny from Colgate. We like Colgate alums around here.

Team USA is full of youth and future PWHL stars.

Kristen Simms led the NCAA in points, teammate Abbey Murphy was third. Britta Curl, yet another University of Wisconsin player was fourth. And Lacey Eden, and you'll never guess where she played, was eighth. But forget about them, it's Hannah Bilka, Joy Dunne and Cayla Barnes who won the Frozen Four.

Cheryl Pounder has some of the USA and Canadian players profiled. But don't ignore the rest of the teams. European and Japanese players have seen that the PWHL has stability and is a real league that works. Ronja Savolainen, a defender on Team Finland has already declared for the draft, and there are likely others from several teams we don't know about yet. This is their showcase for the PWHL teams.

Toronto's coach Troy Ryan is behind the Team Canada bench, and Carla MacLeod, the coach of Ottawa, will be behind the Czechia bench. I think we should expect all of the PWHL team executives to be on hand in Utica for this tournament.

Schedule, broadcast and game reports

The official tournament website has the schedule, live updating gamesheets, stats and news.


In Canada, TSN will cover the games on various TSN channels and at

USAHockey should publish the broadcasters in America very soon, but their coverage is usually more limited.

Team Canada plays their first game on Thursday against Finland.

Go Canada Go!