2024 Worlds Preview: United States

What to expect when Team USA begins their title defense on April 3.

2024 Worlds Preview: United States
Team USA huddles around the net before the 2023 IIHF World Championship gold medal game. Photo by Andrea Cardin/IIHF.

Last year, Team USA walked away from the Worlds with their tenth overall world championship gold medal and first since 2019. They finished the group round second in Group A with a 3-0-1-0. The overtime loss came against Canada in the shootout. They’ll have a good chance to repeat this year while in Group A alongside Canada, Czechia, Finland, and Switzerland.  

Final Roster

The final roster for Team USA was unveiled Sunday morning following a four-day evaluation camp in Lake Placid, New York.

Forwards (15):

  • Hannah Bilka
  • Alex Carpenter
  • Kendall Coyne Schofield
  • Britta Curl
  • Joy Dunne
  • Lacey Eden
  • Laila Edwards
  • Taylor Heise
  • Tessa Janecke
  • Hilary Knight
  • Abbey Murphy
  • Kelly Pannek
  • Hayley Scamurra
  • Kirsten Simms
  • Grace Zumwinkle

Defenders (7):

  • Cayla Barnes
  • Caroline Harvey
  • Savannah Harmon
  • Rory Guilday
  • Megan Keller
  • Sydney Morrow
  • Haley Winn

Goaltenders (3):

  • Aerin Frankel
  • Nicole Hensley
  • Gwyneth Phillips

Schedule/How to Watch

Below is the schedule for the group-stage games. All games will be played at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.

  • Wednesday, April 3 vs Switzerland- 7 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN3, TSN5)
  • Friday, April 5 vs Czechia- 7 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN3)
  • Saturday, April 6 vs Finland- 7 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN5)
  • Monday, April 8 vs Canada- 7 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN1, TSN5, RDS)

Also, here is the schedule for the potential USA playoff and medal games per the USA Hockey website. All games will be played at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.

  • Thursday, April 11- Quarterfinals Matchup- 8:30 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN1, RDS Info)
  • Saturday, April 13- Semifinals Matchup- 3 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN1, RDS)
  • Sunday, April 14
    • Bronze Medal Game- 1 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN1, RDS)
    • Gold Medal Game- 5 p.m. EDT (NHL Network, TSN1, RDS)

Who to Watch

Joy Dunne skates with the puck. She is hunched over amd looking up at a defender, who is blurry in the shot. Dunne is wearing a red and black OSU uniform.
Joy Dunne skates with the puck. Photo courtesy of @OhioStateWHKY/X.

For a new face to watch, keep an eye on Joy Dunne. The 18-year-old forward is the youngest player on the U.S. roster by nearly a year. She is coming off her freshman season at Ohio State University, which ended with her scoring the lone goal in their national championship win over Wisconsin. Through 39 regular season games, Dunne produced 24 goals, 18 assists, and 42 points in 39 games. In addition to winning the national title, Dunne was named WCHA and NCAA Rookie of the Year. She previously represented the U.S. at last year’s U18 world championships, notching three goals and three assists for six points in five games en route to a bronze medal and being named a top three player on the team. Dunne has shown a knack for stepping up in big moments lately, and if she can keep that up going into her first senior national competition, she’ll be a big boost to the U.S. offense.

As for veterans to watch, keep an eye on Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield. They may be two of the best to ever play the game, but they’re also entering the tournament as somewhat wild cards this year. After playing hero at last year’s Worlds, Knight, who will be the oldest player on Team USA’s roster, has not quite been herself for PWHL Boston this year. She’s recorded just four goals and three assists in 19 games. Knight has picked it up a bit after an extremely slow start and is starting to shoot more, but she’s still one to keep an eye on this tournament. While Team USA has a ton of firepower outside of her, they’ll still be counting on Knight to bring her lethal shot and scoring touch, particularly in tougher matchups. 

Meanwhile, Coyne Schofield missed the Worlds last year to have her son, Drew. She hasn’t missed a beat with PWHL Minnesota this season, but international play is different. International schedules are a lot more compact than the PWHL’s, and she was held without a point during the three Rivalry Series games she played this year. The U.S. will be counting on that just being a little blip and that she’ll continue producing like she has in the PWHL.

What to Watch For

Dominque Petrie takes a shot during warmups before a scrimmage. Her weight is all on her left (front) leg and her stick is bent, as she is in the middle of taking a wrist shot. She is wearing a navy blue uniform.
Dominque Petrie takes a shot during warmups before a scrimmage. Photo courtesy of @USAHockey/X.

How does the youth perform?

The US is bringing a younger roster to the tournament this year, with just 11 players on the evaluation camp roster coming from the PWHL. The other 14 are still in college, and five are making their debuts at an IIHF event. Given the aging core, a youth movement was necessary sooner rather than later, and it looks like they have a good balance this year, so it should work well for them. For experience, they have 20 players who have been there before, including 18 that won gold last year.

Meanwhile, the fresh faces will bring a different energy to the team that arch-rival Canada, which is bringing a more veteran roster, might be lacking. Canada’s roster features 20 players from last year’s squad and just two players who have never played in a world championship before. Only four of their rostered players are still in college. Younger, more inexperienced players are more prone to mistakes, but the U.S. is still bringing plenty of veteran talent and their goaltenders are strong enough that it shouldn’t be an issue. However, if the youth cannot rise to the occasion this year, things could get a little rocky.

Group Stage Showdown

Hilary Knight falls as Claire Thompson battles her for the puck. Knight is mid-air, and she was carrying the puck but appears about to lose it as she falls forward. Meanwhile, Thompson is still upright and her stick is in the air as she moves in to take the puck. Thompson is in white, while Knight is in navy.
Hilary Knight falls as Claire Thompson battles her for the puck. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

It’s low-hanging fruit, but there’s simply no better showdown in women’s hockey than the USA versus Canada. They’re the top two teams in the world for a reason, and there are sure to be fireworks every time these two teams play. Team USA was reverse-swept in the Rivalry Series for the second straight year, so look for them to show they’re the better team on April 8 before the seemingly inevitable gold-medal game showdown. The top seed for playoffs almost always comes down to this game, and while they’re already hosting the tournament on home soil, having small advantages like last change can become big in such competitive matchups. Plus, the top seed would give them the easiest playoff path, and with the likes of Finland and Czechia getting stronger every tournament, it never hurts to face the lowest seed possible. So, Team USA must beat Canada during group play to give themselves the best chance at the gold medal.


Team USA celebrates their gold medal win in the 2023 IIHF World Championship. They are arm-in-arm, and the American flag is draped across the backs of those in the middle.
Team USA celebrates their gold medal win in the 2023 IIHF World Championship. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

It would be a shock to see them finish lower than silver, as Team USA has never failed to reach the gold medal game in the tournament’s 22-year history (Canada missed it once in 2019). Another gold medal will be there for the taking this year, but it will come down to how well the youth movement works. If they can’t rise to the occasion and the U.S. has to rely solely on their veterans instead, things could get rockier because depth has been key in the past several tournaments. However, if they can, the U.S. will be in a great spot to repeat as world champions.