The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship begins today. It is being held in Ottawa, and is the last major competition before the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The teams are competing in two groups. They are as follows:
|Pool A||Pool B
The top two teams in Group A get byes to the semifinals. The bottom two teams in Group A play the top two teams in Group B in the quarterfinals, with the winners advancing to the semifinals. The bottom two teams in Group B play in a best–of–three relegation round.
I think that the final ranking will be as follows:
- Canada: All the home fans will provide enough support for us to pull through and win our eleventh title.
- United States: This year’s final will be a repeat of the other fourteen, and the US will be in second place again.
- Finland: Finland will continue its streak of playing in every bronze medal game.
- Sweden: Since Sweden’s U18 team has recently been the third–best time at that level. It’s performance there will eventually “leak through” to the senior tournament; that is an inevitability. Now is as good as year as any for that to start happening.
- Switzerland: The defending bronze medalists will finish in fifth this time.
- Russia: They have an unofficial goal of winning a bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics, but with only 500 registered players (far fewer than the top teams and a lower number than those big–time hockey powers of Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia) the obstacles ahead of them seem too great. They cannot possibly show enough improvement in this tournament.
- Germany: The Germans’ far greater experience at the top level will carry them through the relegation round.
- Czech Republic: They will head back down after one year in the top division
Also, trivia alert! This tournament is the second time the second time the IIHF Women’s World Championship has been held there. The previous time was the first edition of the tournament, in 1990. At least this time Team Canada won’t have those pink uniforms!