USA Hockey announced on Thursday their roster for the upcoming Women’s World U18 Championships, which will be held in Sweden from January 8-15.
The Americans are technically still the defending champs of the event—women’s hockey’s equivalent to the men’s World Juniors—after their overtime victory over Canada in the 2020 tournament. Last year’s tournament was not held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Because no tournament was played last year, and continuing concerns about the pandemic cancelled the usual summer games between the US and Canada, it’s a bit of a mystery how this US group stacks up against their rivals from Canada. There are still two holdovers on the US roster from the 2020 gold medalists in forwards Kirsten Simms and Dani Burgen, who are likely to be key contributors to the team. Everyone else, on both sides of the border, will be getting their first taste of international competition.
This is always an exciting tournament that has produced some incredible games over the history of the event. In 13 tournaments, the Americans have won gold eight times, and silver in the other five, including wins in five of the last six tournaments.