Puck drop in Beijing is almost here.
Ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics is one of the most highly anticipated events, and while the NHL isn’t sending its players on the men’s side, the best in the world in women’s ice hockey are heading to play in Beijing.
The United States women’s ice hockey team is gearing up to defend their gold medal from PyeongChang. With a veteran group heading to the Winter Olympics, the odds of a repeat are high for the Americans.
Here is everything you need to know to watch women’s ice hockey in Beijing.
What is the schedule for women’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Below is the event and streaming information for each day of competition for women’s ice hockey.
- Preliminary Round: Wednesday, Feb. 2 - Tuesday, Feb. 8
- Quarterfinals: Thursday, Feb. 10 - Saturday, Feb. 12
- Semifinals: Sunday, Feb. 13
- Bronze Medal Game: Wednesday, Feb. 16
- Gold Medal Game: Wednesday, Feb. 16
The full schedule for women’s ice hockey can be found here.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Watch all the action from the Beijing Olympics live on NBC
Team USA's first game is at 8:10 a.m. ET on Thursday against Finland.
Who won gold in women’s ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics?
The United States enter the 2022 Olympics as the reigning gold medalists in women's ice hockey.
In PyeongChang, the U.S. snapped Canada’s streak of four consecutive gold medals with a 3-2 shootout win in the gold medal game. Team USA’s Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson deked around Shannon Szabados in the sixth round of the shootout to put the U.S. ahead before Maddie Rooney shut the door on Canada’s Meghan Agosta, lifting the Americans to victory.
It was the second ever gold medal in Olympic women’s ice hockey for the United States. They previously beat Canada in the inaugural 1998 tournament in Nagano.
Who is competing in women’s ice hockey for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
The 2022 United States Olympic women’s ice hockey team was announced during the second intermission of the 2022 Winter Classic.
Out of the 23 players on the Olympic roster, 15 of them have Olympic experience and 13 of them will be returning from the 2018 gold-medal team.
Forward Hilary Knight will be participating in her fourth Olympics with the team, joining Jenny Potter, Angela Ruggiero and Julie Chu as the only four-time Olympians for the United States women’s hockey team. She sits fifth all-time in U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey history for career points at the Olympics with 17, and has a chance to climb up even higher in Beijing.
Four players on the roster are heading to their third Olympic Games -- forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel, as well as defenseman Lee Stecklein. Decker led the Americans in assists in 2018 with three, and Decker, Kessel, Coyne Schofield and Knight were tied for the team-lead in points with six in 2014.
Megan Bozek and Alex Carpenter are back on the squad after being the last two cuts on the 2018 team. The two each secured five points back in 2014.
The U.S. will have eight first-time Olympians on the team, which includes two 19-year-olds in Caroline Harvey and Abbey Murphy, as well as Abby Roque, who will be the first Indigenous woman to play Olympic hockey for the U.S.
The full roster for the United States can be found here.
What countries are the favorites to medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
It most likely will once again be a showdown between the United States and Canada for the gold medal, barring any major upsets.
It has been the U.S. and Canada in the gold medal match for five of the six prior Winter Olympics. The lone exception was in 2006 when Sweden upset the United States in the semifinals, winning 3-2 in a shootout.
It’s not just the Olympics either. Since women’s hockey was added in 1990 to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), no other country has won a gold medal in the World Women’s Championship other than the U.S. or Canada.
The Canadians most recently won the 2021 IIHF World Women’s Championship, taking down the U.S. 3-2 in overtime.
Who are the best women’s ice hockey players at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
We already discussed the threats on the U.S. such as Knight, Decker and Coyle Schofield. But what other players are there to watch out for in Beijing?
Canada will have Marie-Philip Poulin, or “Captain Clutch” as she’s called, leading the way for their squad. The 30-year-old has a flair for the dramatic, of which the U.S. knows all too well. She scored both goals in Canada’s 2-0 win over the U.S. for the gold medal at the 2010 Olympics, she potted the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 3-2 overtime win in the gold-medal game over the U.S. at the 2014 Olympics and she most recently scored the overtime winner in the 2021 IIHF World Championship against the Americans.
The Canadians will have 2018 tournament MVP Mélodie Daoust back on their squad for 2022. The 29-year-old finished in PyeongChang with three goals and four assists, good for seven points which was third-most points in the tournament. Her four assists also put her in a three-way tie for second at the Games.
Looking outside the two North American teams, Switzerland forward Alina Müller is a name to look out for. Müller led all skaters in PyeongChang with 10 points in six games. This will be her third Olympics already at just 23 years old. She owns the record for youngest medalist in Olympic women’s ice hockey history when she helped Switzerland grab the country’s first Olympic medal in the event in 2014 when the Swiss won bronze
Michelle Karvinen is a player to watch on Finland. This will be the fourth Olympics for the veteran forward who already has helped the Finns to two bronze medals -- one in 2010 and one in 2018. She had six points in six games in 2018, including an assist in the bronze medal game against the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
What country has the most medals in women’s ice hockey?
The women’s event is fairly new to the Winter Olympics -- it was established in 1998 -- but out of those six Olympics, Canada and the United States are tied for the lead in medals with six. Canada has won four gold medals and two silvers while the United States has won gold twice, silver three times and bronze once.
Finland is in third with three medals, all bronze. Sweden and Switzerland are the only other countries to earn medals in the event, with Sweden owning a silver and a bronze, and Switzerland having a bronze.