Kendall Coyne Schofield ahead of the women's preliminary match against Team Finland at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 3, 2022 in Beijing.
The U.S. women’s hockey team is coming off a brutal and unprecedented stretch in which it played three major tournaments in 53 weeks — and won silver in each.
From late August 2021 to the first week in September 2022, the Americans played in two world championships and an Olympic Winter Games, falling to rivals Canada in the final of all three.
With much of the sports world now settling into a post-pandemic normal, the days of playing three global championships in such short succession appear to be in the rearview mirror. For women’s hockey, though, one key uncertainty remains.
The next world championship — the pinnacle of any non-Olympic season — will be held in 2023 in Canada, but specific dates have yet to be announced. Typically, the world championship is held in March or early April.
Without that date fixed on the calendar, teams are left to put together a schedule of games and camps without knowing when they’ll need to be at peak readiness.
For the U.S. and Canada, that means renewing their Rivalry Series, with five games set to take place in the coming weeks. Team USA took home the first win in a 4-3 shootout win on Nov. 15 in Kelowna, British Columbia. Canada will then host on Nov. 17 in Kamloops, British Columbia, starting at 10 p.m. ET.
From there the teams head south of the border to play Nov. 20 in Seattle, with that game starting at 7 p.m. ET. Following a short break, the Rivalry Series resumes Dec. 15 in Las Vegas before concluding Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. Both of those games start at 10 p.m. ET.
The American team for the first three games includes 16 players who were part of the most recent world championship team, plus 14 Olympians, with longtime standouts Kendall Coyne Schofield, Amanda Kessel and Hilary Knight among them.
Meanwhile, six players — Riley Brengman, Becca Gilmore, Kelsey King, Maureen Murphy, Gabby Rosenthal and Haley Winn — are set to make their national team debuts. Rosenthal and Brengman both come to Team USA having helped Ohio State win the NCAA title this past March.
“I grew in my confidence a lot and grew in my own personal game and trying to be the best player that I can be,” said Rosenthal, a forward from Blaine, Minnesota. “I think last year was great because I was surrounded by a bunch of players that pushed me every single day on and off the ice.”