clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Women’s Olympic Hockey Tournament PRIMER

Everything you need to know about the Women’s Hockey tournament being hosted in Pyeongchang!

USA Hockey Women's Olympic Team Portraits Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Basics:

What: The 2018 Olympics

Where: PyeongChang, South Korea

Who: USA, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR/Russia), Sweden, Japan, and Korea

When: February 10- February 22 2018

How to watch: TV:NBC family of Channels ( USA, NBCSN)

There is also the NBC Sports App with a cable subscription that will allow mobile access.


This tournament is pretty easily split into three categories with one tier on lock and the other two being somewhat fluid. We all expect the US and Canada to be there at the end but a few teams would love to spoil the party.

Fighting for Classification Points:

This tier will be unlikely to compete for a medal and is looking to either move up the rankings or stabilize their positions.


The hosts have little to no expectations for success. Their chances took a bit of a hit when the South Korean government decided to make this the only joint North/South team in the Olympics. Korea has a few American players with Korean ties and will be led by NWHL alumnus Sojung Shin the goalie.

  • Saturday, February 10, Switzerland v. Korea @ 7:10 AM ET USA
  • Monday, February 12, Sweden v. Korea @ 7:10 AM ET NBCSN
  • Wednesday, February 14, Korea v. Japan @ 2:40 AM ET USA


Smile Japan was unable to win a single game last time around, but finished 7th due to Russia being disqualified. They hope to do a little better this time but will struggle in both of their first two games. They are also led by a past NWHL goalie Nana Fujimoto.

  • Saturday, February 10, Japan vs Sweden, @ 2:40 AM EST
  • Monday, February 12, Switzerland vs Japan, @ 2:40 AM EST NBCSN
  • Wednesday, February 14, Korea vs Japan, @ 2:40 AM EST USA

Bronze Medal Contenders

All four of these teams have medaled at least one major international competition, one has even taken a silver. None of them seem likely to take on Canada or the USA but it is possible.

Olympic Athletes from Russia:


The Russian team struggled in the last World Championships and has had to deal with the turmoil of the Doping Scandal rocking their federation. This team is mostly untouched as to who would likely have made it. Historically Russia has been a fast growing team that has surprised many in their international success that will likely continue in the future.

  • Sunday, February 11, Canada vs Russia, @ 7:10 AM EST USA
  • Tuesday, February 13, USA vs Russia, @ 7:10 AM EST NBCSN
  • Thursday, February 15, Russia vs Finland, @ 2:40 AM EST USA


Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13 - Switzerland v Sweden Photo by Mark Blinch-Pool/Getty Images

The Damkronorna are the only team to defeat the USA or Canada in an elimination game when they beat the US in Torino on the way to taking silver. It has not been an easy road since then for the Swedes with some turmoil in the program but they remain an outside podium contender.

  • Saturday, February 10, Japan vs. Sweden, 2:40 AM EST
  • Monday, February 12, Sweden vs. Korea, 7:10 AM EST NBCSN
  • Tuesday, February 13, Sweden vs. Switzerland, 10:10 PM EST NBCSN


Germany v Finland - 2017 IIHF Women's Bronze Medal Game Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Fins have been a thorn in the sides of USA and Canada for years but have been unable to take them in an elimination game. This team will go as far as the very capable shoulder of Noora Räty will carry them. She will need offensive help but a 1-0 win over one of the powers could spell precious metal.

  • Sunday, February 11, Finland vs. United States, 2:40 AM EST NBCSN
  • Tuesday, February 13, Canada vs. Finland, 2:40 AM EST NBCSN
  • Thursday, February 15, Russia vs. Finland, 2:40 AM EST USA


The defending Bronze Medalists have their hands full. Recent tournaments have not been very kind to them and they struggled to qualify, defeating the Czech Republic in the last qualifiers. Up front the promising young Alina Müller, a Northeastern commit, could electrify in her second Olympics after becoming the youngest ever medalist in the sport last cycle. The Swiss will be relying on Northeastern alumnus Florence Schelling, the defending Olympic MVP, if they want to reclaim a podium spot.

  • February 10, Switzerland v. Korea @ 7:10 AM ET USA
  • February 12, Switzerland v. Japan @ 2:40 AM ET NBCSN
  • February 14, Sweden v. Switzerland @ 10:10 PM ET NBCSN

Gold Medal Favorites

This category isn’t likely to change unless there are a few major injuries to one or both of these teams. Of all the World Championships and Olympics only one time have they not met for gold.


Our northern neighbors have won the last four out of the five total Olympics and don’t seem to be ready to relinquish gold anytime soon. After an embarrassing loss to the USA to open their pretournament tour Canada went on to win four of the next five games to take that series 4-2. America Killer and Boston University alumnus Marie-Phillip Poulin would like to get her third consecutive gold medal winning goal this cycle. The starting goalie is likely to be Shannon Szabados who had many worried about her final roster spot.

  • Sunday, February 11, Canada vs. Russia, 7:10 AM EST USA
  • Tuesday, February 13, Canada vs. Finland, 2:40 AM EST NBCSN
  • Wednesday, February 14, USA vs. Canada, 10:10 PM EST NBCSN

United States of America:

This team has been the host to a plethora of drama surrounding their roster. Head Coach Rob Stauber left some of the teams best offensive threats home, though they currently reside in China, which is puzzling many as they struggled to score down the stretch of their Canada series. The Coyne-Decker-Knight line needs to come up big if they want to get only their second Olympic Gold. In the net more questions live but Maddie Rooney has seemed to emerge as the favorite for the minutes. Despite the surprise cuts of both Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter this team is loaded with local Boston College alumni and even a pair of current student athletes at the blue line.

  • Sunday, February 11, Finland vs. United States, 2:40 AM EST NBCSN
  • Tuesday, February 13, USA vs Russia, @ 7:10 AM EST NBCSN
  • Wednesday, February 14, USA vs. Canada, 10:10 PM EST NBCSN


Quarterfinals: Friday, February 16 10:10 PM and Saturday, February 17 2:40AM USA

Classification (5-8): Saturday, February 17 10:10 PM NBCSN, Sunday, February 18 2:40AM

Semifinals: Sunday, February 18 11:10 PM, Monday, February 19 7:10AM NBCSN (note: the USA game will likely be the broadcast game)

5th Place: Tuesday, February 20, 2:40AM

7th Place: Tuesday, February 20, 7:10AM

Bronze: Wednesday, February 21 2:40 AM USA

Gold: Wednesday, February 21 11:10 PM NBCSN