So, it’s that wonderful time of year again – time for the IIHF Women’s Worlds! This year will be different, since it’s an Olympic year. Rather than the top teams playing, teams that did not participate in the Olympics will be competing. “Ugh that’s so lame,” you may be saying. “Why?” Well, because – according to the IIHF – having Women’s Worlds in Olympic years, between non-Olympic participants, strengthens the competitiveness of the women’s game. Since there use to be no WW during Olympic years at all, you’ve got to assume there’s also a funding aspect contributing to why Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, et al aren’t participating. But cynicism aside, it’s always fun to watch developing teams who could go on to be contenders eventually.
The Division I games will be held in Pferov, Czech Republic, and Ventspils, Latvia. Information on Group A, including the teams and schedule, is here. Information on Group B is here. Information on Division II Group A is here and Group B is here. They’ll be played in Asiago, Italy, and Reykjavik, Iceland, respectively.
Hockey Wilderness has some info about this year’s tournament here. The biggest thing to take away from this year’s Women’s Worlds is that the winner will play a best of three series in the 2015 Women’s Worlds with the last-placed team from this year’s Olympics (also known as everyone’s favorite smiley team, Team Japan).
It looks like there won’t be anywhere to watch this year’s championships, but we’ll be reporting on results as they happen. The tournament begins April 6th, and runs through April 12th.