2022 Olympic hockey schedule released, key women’s storylines to know

·4 min read

The hockey schedule for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics was unveiled on Thursday. The women’s tournament will begin on Thursday, February 3, 2022 – one day before the Opening Ceremony of the Games.

With just over four months until the first puck drops, here are a few key things to know:

Which women’s hockey teams will compete in Beijing?

A total of 10 women’s hockey teams will compete in Beijing, up from 8 at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Of the 10 teams, seven have already qualified:

  • United States (qualified via world ranking)

  • Canada (qualified via world ranking)

  • Finland (qualified via world ranking)

  • Russian Olympic Committee (qualified via world ranking)

  • Switzerland (qualified via world ranking)

  • Japan (qualified via world ranking)

  • China (qualified as host nation)

The three remaining women’s hockey teams will qualify at last chance tournaments scheduled for November 2021.

The women’s Olympic hockey tournament uses weighted pools. The top five teams in the world will compete in Group A, while Group B will contain the five lower ranked teams. This format has been used since the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Here are the women’s hockey groups for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics:

Group A Teams

Group B Teams

At the end of group play, all five Group A teams and the top three Group B teams will progress to the quarterfinal round.

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Where does the USA-Canada rivalry stand?

Since women’s hockey debuted in 1998, United States and Canada have combined to win every gold medal in the event. The Americans will enter Beijing as the defending Olympic champions, while Canada won the most recent world title in August.

While the U.S. and Canada remain the top two teams in the world, don’t count out Finland. The Finns have consistently challenged for bronze, and in 2019, they almost won the world title. That year, Finland scored the overtime winner against the United States – until a controversial review resulted in the goal being called back. The U.S. went on to win the world title in a shootout.

Olympics

United States Result

Canada Result

1998 Nagano

Gold

Silver

2002 Salt Lake

Silver

Gold

2006 Torino

Bronze

Gold

2010 Vancouver

Silver

Gold

2014 Sochi

Silver

Gold

2018 PyeongChang

Gold

Silver

Women’s Hockey Schedule – 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The women’s tournament will begin before the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, with group play games scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 3 in Beijing (the night of Wednesday, February 2 in the United States).

Per tradition, the host nation – China – will open the tournament. China’s first opponent will be one of the three teams that qualifies in November.

The Americans will open their Olympic title defense with a game against Finland, a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final.

The most anticipated game of the group play round is the U.S.-Canada matchup on the night of February 7 in the United States (the afternoon of February 8 in Beijing). Here’s a look at the full U.S. schedule:

U.S. Women’s Hockey Schedule – Group Play Games – 2022 Winter Olympics

Game

New York Time

Beijing Time

USA vs. Finland (FIN)

February 5 at 8:10am EST

February 3 at 9:10pm CST

USA vs. Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)

February 5 at 8:10am EST

February 5 at 9:10pm CST

USA vs. Switzerland (SUI)

February 6 at 8:10am EST

February 6 at 9:10pm CST

USA vs. Canada (CAN)

February 7 at 11:10pm EST

February 8 at 12:10pm CST

Women’s Hockey Schedule – Playoffs and Medal Games – 2022 Winter Olympics

Game

New York Time

Beijing Time

Quarterfinal #1

February 10 at 11:10pm EST

February 11 at 12:10pm CST

Quarterfinal #2

February 11 at 8:10am EST

February 11 at 9:10pm CST

Quarterfinal #3

February 11 at 11:10pm EST

February 12 at 12:10pm CST

Quarterfinal #4

February 12 at 3:40am EST

February 12 at 4:40pm CST

Semifinal #1

February 13 at 11:10pm EST

February 14 at 12:10pm CST

Semifinal #2

February 14 at 8:10am EST

February 14 at 9:10pm CST

Bronze Medal Game

February 16 at 6:30am EST

February 16 at 7:30pm CST

Gold Medal Game

February 16 at 11:10pm EST

February 17 at 12:10pm CST

READ MORE: IIHF releases men’s, women’s 2022 Olympic hockey schedules

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

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2022 Olympic hockey schedule released, key women’s storylines to know originally appeared on NBCSports.com