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Wisconsin women’s hockey: eight future Badgers set to play in 2022 IIHF U-18 Women’s World Championship

Seven Americans and one Canadian will be taking the ice in Madison before becoming Badgers.

USA v Canada - 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship
Team USA won the gold medal here in 2016. The Americans have won gold eight times in the U18 tournament.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

In case you didn’t know, Madison will play host to some of the best women’s hockey players in the world starting next week. The 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship is being played at LaBahn Arena and Capitol Ice Arena from June 6 to June 13 (tickets on sale now). The event was originally set to be played in Sweden in January, but was cancelled by the IIHF due to COVID-19.

Group A, featuring Finland, Sweden, Canada and Team USA will play at the home arena of the Badgers, while Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will play their Group B games at Capitol Ice Arena.

Not only will this be a great chance to see some international quality hockey over the summer, if you go you’ll also get a sneak peek of eight future Badgers. Team USA has seven Wisconsin commits and the Canadians have one.

Friend of the blog Nicole Haase has an entire thread with a list of where the committed players will be playing college hockey. The Badgers and Cornell are tied with eight players skating for the Americans or Canadians in the tournament.

Here are the players on Team USA:

  • Laila Edwards, forward, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • Claire Enright, forward, Lakeville, Minn.
  • Kelly Gorbatenko, forward, Barrington, Ill.
  • Cassie Hall, forward, South Lyon, Mich.
  • Ava McNaughton, goalie, Seven Fields, Pa.
  • Laney Potter, defense, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Kristen Simms, forward, Plymouth, Mich.

Defender Jenessa Gazdik, a native of Somerset, is on the team as well and is committed to Minnesota State. Wisconsin also has one Canadian coming to Madison (eventually) in Ava Murphy, a defender out of Kitchener, Ontario.

Here is the Group A schedule for the week.

Monday, June 6

Canada vs. Finland – 4 p.m. CT
Sweden vs. United States – 8 p.m. CT

Tuesday, June 7

Canada vs. Sweden – 4 p.m. CT
United States vs. Finland – 8 p.m. CT

Thursday, June 9

Sweden vs. Finland – 4 p.m. CT
United States vs. Canada – 8 p.m. CT

Elimination play starts on June 10 and the medal games are played on June 13. LaBahn Arena will be the host for all of the knockout rounds. Team USA is the only team to win either gold (eight times) or silver (five times) in every single tournament (13 played since 2008) and are the defending gold medalists as well, having beaten Canada 2-1 in OT in 2020.

“We could not be more excited to be involved in hosting the U18 Women’s World Championship,” said Chris McIntosh, director of athletics at the University of Wisconsin. “Over the course of many decades, the connection the University of Wisconsin has had to international competition in hockey is significant, and to have the chance to host the best players in the world and showcase our University and community is truly an honor.”