The 2016 edition of the annual Four Nations Cup international women's ice hockey tournament takes place this week, hosted this year by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Games will be played at three different arenas in the cities of Järvenpää, Kerava and Vierumäki. Action begins tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1, with three days of round-robin play. The top two teams will meet again for the gold medal on Saturday, November 5, while the bottom two teams will play for 3rd place.
Last year at the Four Nations Cup.–Team USA looks to defend its gold medal after winning the 2015 Four Nations Cup in Sweden. The Americans won all three of their round-robin games, 6-2 over Sweden, 3-0 over Canada, and 7-0 over Finland. Canada also advanced to the gold-medal game by defeating Finland, 2-0, and Sweden, 3-1. In the other tournament games, Finland defeated Sweden twice, 3-1 in round-robin play and 3-2 in the 3rd place game. In the championship match, Natalie Spooner and Meghan Agosta twice gave Canada one-goal leads, but Brianna Decker knotted the score both times; tied 2-2 after regulation, Hilary Knight scored just 36 seconds into overtime to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory.
Stecklein, five GWH alumni participating with national teams
Six representatives of the Gopher Women's Hockey program will be participating with their respective national teams at the Four Nations Cup. Current Gopher captain Lee Stecklein and alumni Megan Bozek, Hannah Brandt, and Anne Schleper were named to the U.S. roster on October 5. Minnesota alumna Sarah Davis was named as a member of Team Canada's roster on October 14, and Noora Räty was added to the list of tournament participants last Monday, October 24, when Finland announced their roster.
Amanda Kessel was also originally named to the American roster, but had to withdraw due to injury.
We send best wishes to all six players competing in Finland!
Game schedule and coverage
Tuesday, November 1
- USA vs. Sweden - Vierumäki - 6:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT
- Canada vs. Finland - Järvenpää - 6:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT
Wednesday, November 2
- USA vs. Finland - Kerava - 6:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT
- Canada vs. Sweden - Vierumäki - 6:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT
Friday, November 4
- Finland vs. Sweden - Vierumäki - 3:00 p.m. local / 9:00 a.m. EDT / 8:00 a.m. CDT
- Canada vs. USA - Vierumäki - 6:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. CDT
Saturday, November 5
- 3rd Place Game at Vierumäki - 2:00 p.m. local / 8:00 a.m. EDT / 7:00 a.m. CDT
- Championship Game at Vierumäki - 5:30 p.m. local / 11:30 a.m. EDT / 10:30 a.m. CDT
Pre-tournament exhibition.–Canada 4, Finland 1 - The teams from Canada and Finland got an early start on action, playing a pre-tournament exhibition game yesterday (Sunday) which Canada won, 4-1. Meghan Agosta scored for the Canadians just 4:38 into the game, but Finland's Jenni Hiiiokoski knotted the score with a power-play goal at 10:25 of the first period. Bailey Bram put Canada back ahead early in the 2nd period, Laura Fortino tallied an insurance goal early in the third, and Marie-Philip Poulin added a short-handed empty-net goal. Former Gopher goaltender Noora Räty made 18 saves for Finland. Emerance Maschmeyer and Geneviève Lacasse combined for 16 saves for Canada, each playing roughly half the game.
Coverage.–Web service LiveStream.com will be streaming video from all three of Finland's round-robin games, Friday's match between Canada and USA, and the 3rd Place and Championship Games on Saturday. You can find the video streams here.
Additionally, we encourage you to follow @USAHockeyScores and @HC_Women on Twitter for Team USA and Canada live score updates. We'll also be sharing game recaps on our Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep you up-to-date will all the game results.