Although the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing have not yet taken place, the women’s hockey tournament is set to get underway Thursday, with the United States looking to defend its gold medal in the event.
Two of the players who were on that roster in 2018, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight, have ties to the Chicago-area, and both players are hoping that they can make history by helping the American squad to a second consecutive gold medal in the event.
If they are able to do so, it would be the first time in history that the United States has captured gold in back-to-back Olympics in the sport.
Coyne Schofield and Knight are going to get plenty of help from other Chicago-area stars, including Megan Bozek, a Buffalo Grove-native who wasn’t on the 2018 gold medal squad, but did earn a silver medal with the Americans in 2014.
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Three Chicago-area players will be making their Olympic debuts in 2022, including 19-year-old Abbey Murphy from Evergreen Park, Savannah Harmon from Downers Grove, and Jesse Compher from Northbrook.
The United States will drop the puck on their Group A schedule on Thursday with a game against Finland. The Finnish team won the bronze medal during the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, and will give the American squad a tough battle in their opening game.
The final game of group play will be a gold medal-game rematch, as the United States will take on long-time rival Canada on Monday night.
Here is the full schedule for the preliminary round (all times Central):
Feb. 3 7:10 a.m. Finland vs. USA (USA Network/Peacock)
Feb. 5 7:10 a.m. USA vs. ROC (Olympic Channel/USA Network/Peacock)
Feb. 6 7:10 a.m. Switzerland vs. USA (Olympic Channel/USA Network/Peacock)
Feb. 7 10:10 p.m. USA vs. Canada (Olympic Channel/USA Network/Peacock)
The top eight teams from the two groups will advance to the playoff round:
Feb. 10-12: Women’s Quarterfinals
Feb. 13-14: Women’s Semifinals
Feb. 16 5:30 a.m. Women’s Bronze Medal Game
Feb. 16 10:10 p.m. Women’s Gold Medal Game