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The 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship Final, USA vs. Canada: Game Time, How To Watch, TV, Preview & More

It’s the battle everyone expected for World Championship gold

United States v Canada - 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship
Haley Skarupa ‘16
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s been quite a few weeks for Team USA.

It wasn’t long ago that it looked like the Americans wouldn’t even be here. After Team USA’s high-profile near-boycott of the IIHF Women’s World Championships and subsequent gains in funding and support from USA Hockey, the Americans came into the tournament under a bright spotlight.

Any questions about how they would perform under that spotlight were quickly answered. Team USA shot out of a cannon, dominating Canada in their first preliminary round game and not letting up from there. Last night’s 11-0 whomping of Germany in the semifinals puts all the pressure on the United States to not choke away the gold medal they’ve thus far looked like they deserve.

They’re just one game away.

What: The 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships
Gold Medal Game

Date: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Time: 7:35pm EDT

TV: NHL Network (As well as a live stream on

Venue: USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth MI

United States (4-0-0)
vs. Canada (2-2-0)

American Eagles: The American roster consists of no fewer than six (6) current and former Boston College Eagles. That’s more than a quarter of the roster:

#16 Kelli Stack ‘11 (F)
#8 Emily Pfalzer ‘15 (D)
#25 Alex Carpenter ‘16 (F)
#11 Haley Skarupa ‘16 (F)
#6 Kali Flanagan ‘18 (D)
#5 Megan Keller ‘18 (D)

What’s At Stake: World Championship gold! After the Olympics, this is the biggest event in the sport of women’s ice hockey. With the Americans (successfully!) risking their very careers to earn increased funding and support from USA Hockey, they’re also looking to make a statement that the investment will push the United States to the top of the world.

History: Team USA has won 6 of the last 7 IIHF Women’s Worlds, which are held annually, except in Olympic years.

Unfortunately for the Americans, the sport’s most coveted prize has eluded them for a long time as Canada has won the last 4 Olympic gold medals. As the final Women’s Worlds tournament before the Olympics, this is expected to be a bit of a preview to set the stage for Pyeongchang 2018.

Big Questions: How have both teams changed since the first game of the tournament, when the USA dominated the Canadians for three periods? Who will the Americans start in net — one of the youngsters (Nicole Hensley, who is 2-0-0 without allowing a goal, and Maddie Rooney, who also didn’t allow a goal in her one start), or team veteran Alex Rigsby, who allowed three goals to Finland? Will Kali Flanagan ‘18 score to complete the set of all 6 Eagles scoring a goal in the tournament? Will an Eagle score the game winner, like Alex Carpenter ‘16 did in last year’s gold medal game in overtime?

Better Know An Eagle: Emily Pfalzer ‘15

Emily Pfalzer ‘15 was a huge, huge recruit for the Eagles when she came to the Heights in 2011. Pfalzer played for the USA U18 Select team as a 16 year old in 2009, before joining the USA U18 World Championship team for two years in 2010 and 2011 — both years as assistant captain. She played club hockey in Canada for the Mississauga Junior Chiefs just across the river from her hometown of Getzville NY, a Buffalo suburb, earning a championship in her final season.

At BC, Pfalzer was a strong defenseman from the beginning, but completely transformed into a dominant, world-class force toward the end of her junior year. Having finally fully recovered from a lingering injury, she absolutely exploded her senior year, putting up an absurd line of 8-34—42 in 36 games as a defenseman. She could be thought of as BC’s Bobby Orr (really), as she pioneered the program’s three-zone, below-the-goal-line, bomb’s-away defensive style that has made Boston College the most consistently dominant team in the east.

Nowadays, Pfalzer is the captain of her hometown Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL. She led the team to an upset win in the 2017 Isobel Cup finals over Boston just a few weeks ago.

Random, Possibly Incorrect Fact From Our Opponent’s Wikipedia Page: CANADA

The word “hockey” does not appear even once in Canada’s “Culture” section on Wikipedia. So if any Canadian comes up to you crowing about how hockey is part of Canada’s “national identity, eh,” just remind them that Wikipedia says otherwise.

In fact, “hockey” only appears three times at all on the entire Wikipedia article, with all three clustered together in the tiny “Sport” (singular) paragraph.

Other words that appear more than “hockey”:

“Oil” (13 times)
“United States” (21 times)
“Ice” (51 times)
“King” or “Queen” (68 times)
“Eh” (14 times)

Game Day Snack: Canadian Bacon

In our last USA vs. Canada preview, we poked some fun at our Canadian friends by recommending Anything But Poutine. But this time, in the spirit of neighborliness, we’ll give props for something Canada did right: Canadian Bacon.

Canadian Bacon is really just a super thick cut of bacon. Canada doesn’t know much, but they were smart enough to realize that the only way you can improve someone’s bacon experience is to give them more bacon.

A nice crispy slice of thin American bacon is great, but a big ol’ hunk of smoked pork goodness is reason enough for us to know that God loves Canada and would prefer that we don’t invade it.

Game Day Song: Blame Canada

We chose this song last week, and we’re choosing it again. What else am I going to do, pick something actually Canadian like Avril Lavigne or Justin Bieber or Carly Rae Jepsen or Nickelback??


World Championship gold is on the line for Team USA and its Eagle-heavy roster. It would have been anti-climactic for it to have been against anyone else but our rivals from the north. Let’s keep the World Championship south of the border.