USA vs. Hungary: They have never played in WW history, but the player to watch will be Hilary Knight. She has 85 career points, one behind the all-time leader, Hayley Wickenheiser. There is every chance Knight will surpass Canada’s legendary number 22 in this game.
Canada vs. Sweden: The last time the teams played at the Women’s Worlds was way back in 2009. Two players from that game will be playing tomorrow – Canadians Meaghan Mikkelson and Marie-Philip Poulin. Poulin scored a goal, and recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Kim St-Pierre recorded the shutout in a 7-0 win. The game story as published in Toronto Star was written by Donna Spencer for Canadian Press, and Spencer is also here in Herning writing for CP.
Finland vs. Czechia: The last time these teams played was just last year. Finland won, 1-0, on a Sanni Vanhanen goal and shutout from Anni Keisala. Klara Peslarova was in goal for Czechia, a likely goalie duel again tomorrow.
Switzerland vs. Japan: This might be dubbed the “1955 throwback game” because both teams had so many players absent due to health reasons in the last game they have been icing teams far under the 20-skater limit. Switzerland finished its last game with 13 skaters and Japan played its last game with 16. Here’s hoping both coaches can get some warm bodies back in the line-up by game time. These two teams are the only ones yet to score on the power play. In Japan’s case, it’s partly because they have had only three power plays, but the Swiss are a poor 0-for-16 so far.
There are 30 goalies at this year’s tournament and all of them catch with their left hand.
Two big firsts this year. Denmark gets its first WW win (and shutout), and Switzerland scored its first goal in WW competition against Canada.
Only one player will celebrate a birthday before the tournament ends, and she’s not even playing that day. Hungary’s Emma Kreisz turns 19 on 2 September.
North Americans have led the Women’s Worlds in scoring every year with three exceptions. In 1994 and ’97 that distinction belonged to Finn Riikka Nieminen, and in 2016 Swiss Christine Hueni tied Hilary Knight for the lead with nine points each.
The biggest crowd so far in Frederikshavn was 25 August for Denmark-Sweden – 1,496. The top draw on the Herning side to date was last night’s terrific Canada-USA game, which drew 1,216 to the HVIK HockeyArena.
Sweater numbers here are very conservative. Three teams – Czechia, Sweden, United States – don’t go higher than 36. Canada doesn’t go higher than 51. Japan’s highest is 79 and Switzerland’s 82. Germany’s highest is 36 except for Franziska Albl, who wears 95. She is one of only three players to have number in the 90s. The others are Julia Liikala of Finland, #91, and Hungary’s Kinga Jokai-Szilagyi, who sports the highest number here, #97.
There is a small sports store in the lobby of the KVIK Hockey Arena. It sells various hockey equipment, including sticks but all of the sticks are left. Among players, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland all have only three right-shooting players on their team. At the other end, Japan and the U.S. have ten and Canada nine.
Just as with the men, the women’s game is getting younger and youngest. But there are still some veteran players making the start of a new Olympic cycle. The oldest player here is Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson (37), followed by Jenni Hiirikoski (Finland, 35), and Simone Jacquet (Denmark, 35).