2024 Worlds Preview: China

Team China will make their first appearance at the top level since 2009. Here's what the team looks like.

2024 Worlds Preview: China
Photo by zhang kaiyv / Unsplash

Team History

China heads into the 2024 Women’s World Championship as an underdog after being promoted to Group B of the highest tier of play along with Denmark last year. The Chinese national team won the 2023 division IA tournament after shutting out Austria to earn their promotion. This is their first appearance on this stage since 2009 where they placed ninth and were relegated to Division I. 

RPI Women’s Hockey recently tweeted that they played Team China in an exhibition game as they geared up for the tournament, close by in Utica, NY. 

How To Watch 

All games will be broadcast on NHL Network or ESPN+ in the US or TSN in Canada. China’s group stage games are listed below. 

  • Group Stage Game 1: April 4 - vs. Japan, 11 a.m.
  • Group Stage Game 2: April 5 - vs. Sweden, 11 a.m.
  • Group Stage Game 3: April 7 - vs. Denmark, 7 p.m.
  • Group Stage Game 4: April 9 -vs. Germany, 11 a.m.

Who to Watch | Leah Lum 

During the 2022 Olympics and 2023 1B World Championship tournament, Leah Lum led the team in scoring. Lum had four points in four games during that Olympic run and a whopping 15 points in five games in the division 1B tournament last year. 

Additionally, she has signed with PWHL Montréal in their inaugural season after winning an Isobel Cup with the Toronto Six of the PHF in 2023. The 27-year-old played four years at UConn before playing for the KRS Vanke Rays for four seasons in China. 

Lum’s vast experience at every level has a huge impact for a team with quite a few young players and little experience together on a stage like this. If you need the drama factor too, it was Lum’s goal over Austria that booked China’s ticket to the tournament this year. 

What to Watch For | Goaltending Consistency

There is a lot to pay attention to, as China has a very young team in a new division for them. They will need to get ahead of their opponent in possession time, shots and stellar goaltending if they don't want to fall behind the Group B teams with more experience and discipline than them.

It is likely we will see a lot of current UConn goaltender Tia Chan in net for Team China. Chan comes into this tournament at 21 years old and still manages to have a lot of experience on this roster, as she represented China at the 2022 Olympics and has time playing with the KRS Vanke Rays.

Group Stage Showdown

China plays their first game of the tournament against Japan on April 4 at 11 a.m. EST and while it is their first game of the tournament, I am claiming it as a must-win for the Chinese team. Of all the teams in the tournament, China has the most experience against the Japanese national team and the best all-time record against them (20-18).

Setting the tone early will be important for everyone, but especially for a team who's just been promoted into this tournament. They are going to want to spark momentum in their first game, especially knowing battles against dominant Germany and Sweden teams are in their near future. 


Despite the momentum that the Chinese national team has had over the last few tournaments, they are facing relegation again as only the top three teams from Group B will remain in this division. Sweden, Japan and Germany have a combined lifetime record of 40-24 against China and have all been dominant teams with much more experience playing at this level. 

While I always root for parity and a dramatic shakeup, my prediction is that China will join Japan at the bottom of the standings despite being able to beat them, unfortunately being relegated back to Division IA as a result.