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U18 Women's World Championship starts this week; can Team USA bring home gold?

The 2023 IIHF U18 Women's Worlds starts in just a few days in Ostersund, Sweden. Team USA took home a silver medal in 2022 after a championship match loss to Canada.

A hockey player wearing a black jersey that says 'USA' looks off into the distance.
Molly Jordan of Team USA
Sydney Wolf / The Rink Live

OSTERSUND, Sweden — Team USA did not end the 2022 U18 Women's World Championship on a good note.

The Americans defeated rival Canada 7-0 in the preliminary round of the 2022 tournament but ended up falling to Canada 3-2 in the championship game.

Even though the team still went home with a silver medal, they had a taste for gold that they just couldn't satisfy in the end.

Now it's 2023 and a chance for the U.S. to start fresh in the tournament with a clean slate.

The Americans will have to start anew with multiple new faces joining the roster for the January tournament. Only seven of the 23 players are returners from the 2022 games.

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One thing that will be a desperate need for the U.S. will be scoring. The team lost it's five leading scorers from the summer and will need new skaters to fill some big shoes, and to fill them quickly.

Three veterans who will be heavily relied upon for offensive production are Finley McCarthy (Whitefish, MT / Wisconsin), Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, NY / Wisconsin), and Cassie Hall (South Lyon, MI / Wisconsin).

Annelies Bergmann (Lancaster, PA / Cornell) is likely to get the starting nod in goal for Team USA. The 6-foot netminder posted a .934 save percentage in the 2022 tournament and has promising numbers with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies throughout her career so far.

Other names to watch for this tournament include Minnesota natives and returners Josie St. Martin (Stillwater, Minn. / Ohio State) and Ava Lindsay (Minnetonka, Minn. / Minnesota).

Joy Dunne (O'Fallon, Mo. / Ohio State) will captain Team USA alongside Molly Jordan (Berlin, Conn. / Boston College) and Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y. / Wisconsin) who will both wear an 'A'.

Katie Lachapelle returns as head coach of the squad, with Brianna Decker , Liz Keady Norton , and Lindsay Berman as assistant coaches.

The USA had one pre-tournament game on Jan. 5, where they fell to Sweden, 1-0.

The Americans will rematch Sweden in their very first preliminary game of the tournament at 9 a.m. CT Jan. 8. Games will be streamed live on the NHL Network.

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Team USA has always won either gold or silver in the entire history of the tournament. Last time the team won gold was in 2020.

Group A includes the USA, Canada, Sweden, and Finland, while Group B hosts Slovakia, Czechia, Switzerland and Japan.

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Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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