With the NHL lockout this season, hockey fans are frantically looking for different venues of hockey to watch. Enter the Four Nations Cup. The Four Nations Cup is an annual women's hockey tournament that consists of the four major women's hockey powerhouses throughout the world: Canada, United States, Sweden, and Finland. Started in 1996 as the 3 Nations Cup, it consisted of national women’s teams from Canada, United States, and Finland. Sweden joined the tourney in 2000, but the USA did not attend the 2001 event due to the September 11 attacks. Since 2002, it has been named the Four Nations Cup, and has been consistent ever since. The Four Nations Cup is an opportunity for the top elite women’s hockey players to showcase their talent to the world in an international setting.
After completing the USA Hockey August festival camp and three game series in Calgary, I was thrilled to find out that I would be representing my country again in the Four Nations Cup in Finland, Team USA forward Sarah Erickson stated. "It's certainly an honor to, one, play for the red, white and blue and, two, play with and against the best of the best in women's hockey." The teams are very diverse, ranging in age and talent from veterans all the way down to players still in college.
The tournament is set up as a round robin format. Every team will play the other teams once. From there, the teams are placed based on their record. The top two teams will play each other for the gold medal, while the bottom two teams will play each other for the bronze medal.
Throughout the 16 years of the Four Nations Cup, Canada has dominated the medal count, with the United States following in second. Canada has won 12 gold medals, while the United States has won 4, including a 2011 gold medal in Sweden. With their gold medal last year, the United States should have momentum going into this year's tournament.
There are many players on both the Canadian and American rosters the also play in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and the Western Women’s Hockey League (WWHL).
Every team has their chance to host the tournament, with this year’s tournament taking place in Vantaa & Kerava, Finland. This year's Four Nations Cup runs Monday, November 5th thru Saturday, November 10th. The United States will play Sweden on Tuesday the 6th, Canada on Wednesday the 7th, and Finland on Friday the 9th, with the gold and bronze medal games on Saturday the 10th.
All information about the Four Nations Cup, including the schedule of games and the USA roster can be found on USA Hockey's website at http://wwa.usahockey.com/Four_Nations.aspx