With the NHL implementing the new rule that their players cannot participate in the Olympics, both Canadian hockey teams look quite different than they did in Sochi.
So we’re here to give you a guide on who to watch on both the men’s and women’s, and to let you know what is going down on the ice. Change is exciting, and giving the opportunity for players to step up will make this Olympic hockey campaign hopeful and unpredictable.
The Women’s Side
The women’s team has been on the podium every year since 1998, the first time women’s hockey was included in the Olympics. The first day of the quarter finals this time around are on February 16th. Here’s what to watch out for:
- Heavily decorated Hayley Wickenheiser has retired
- Marie-Philip Poulin is taking on the role as captain
- There is also a new coach, as Melody Davidson has taken on the role as General manager
- Laura Schuler is the new coach.
These exciting changes means that Canada is going on slightly an underdog, but they are ready to take on the challenge. Their biggest rivals are the United States, who are in their pool, so they will need all the energy from Canadians at home to back them up!
The Gold and Bronze medals games are on Febuary 20-21, 2018.
Group A : Canada, United States, Finland and Russia
Group B: Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea
The Men’s Side
Canada’s first men’s hockey game is on February 15. The team is set to face Switzerland at 4:10 AM PST. There are 25 players on the roster and all but two have played in the NHL, so we’ve got an all-star team!
The tournament format for the men’s side is very different than the women’s. There are also more teams. All teams will begin with a round robin with no eliminations. The top two teams from each group will move on. Here’s what to watch out for:
- Canada is on a double gold streak, winning in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014
- Hockey veteran Chris Kelly, a former NHL player who’s last season was in 2016-17 is team captain
- It’s going to be exciting: this time, Canada is an underdog, they will have to fight for this. Hard.
Gold and bronze medal games are on February 23-24, 2018.
Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and South Korea
Group B: Russia, United States, Slovakia, Slovenia
Group C: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany