IIHF announces U18 Women’s Worlds to be held in Wisconsin

(Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The IIHF announced Monday that it has officially rescheduled the U18 Women’s World Championships. The tournament will now take place in Wisconsin from June 3-6.

Previously, the international governing body had announced that the tournament would be moved to June in the “north of the USA.” It was originally scheduled for January in Sweden but was canceled for the second consecutive year in December 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns.

The decision was met with outrage, as many pointed out the discrepancies between the men’s and women’s events.

While the IIHF had canceled the women’s event two years in a row, the men’s World Junior tournament was still on the calendar, though it was later called off mid-tournament after several teams had to cancel games due to COVID-19 issues. That tournament has since been rescheduled for August in Alberta.

When the U18 women’s tournament was canceled, many players criticized the decision, including former U.S. national team star Meghan Duggan, who called it “beyond disappointing” and said the players “deserve” a tournament.

Now, the event will take place in the cities of Madison and Middleton. Madison’s LaBahn Ice Arena, which is home to the University of Wisconsin women’s ice hockey team, will host Group A of the preliminary round as well as the quarterfinal, semifinal and medal games. Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton will host Group B of the preliminary round and other classification games. Eight total teams will compete: USA, Canada, Finland and Sweden in Group A and Czechia, Switzerland, Germany and Slovakia in Group B.

It will be the third time the U.S. has hosted the event since it was established in 2008. Previously, the tournament was held in Woodridge, Ill., in 2010 and in Buffalo in 2015.

The United States will look to win gold for the second straight tournament, having won five of the last six (2015-2018, 2020).