Five players who are tearing it up in Finland
A look at which players are stealing the show in Espoo as we approach the end of the group stage
The group stage of the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship wraps up tomorrow. Thus far the Worlds has been fast and furious and already filled with unforgettable performances.
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Kendall Coyne Schofield | Forward | USA
Coyne Schofield was arguably the player with the most buzz around her heading into this tournament after her performance at the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition and her Isobel Cup victory with the Minnesota Whitecaps. As if that wasn’t reason to keep an eye on her, Coyne Schofield is also Team USA’s captain.
Through three games, the speedster leads all skaters at the Worlds in even strength scoring with two goals and three assists. Even more remarkable is that four of Coyne Schofield’s five points have been primary. She’s also put seven shots on goal and is currently sitting at a +4 plus/minus rating.
Coyne Schofield and USA will cross sticks with Russia tomorrow to wrap up their group play. They are the only undefeated team in Group A thanks in large part to the play of their captain.
Hilary Knight | Forward | USA
Coyne Schofield is leading the U.S. in points, but Knight is leading the team with three goals in her first three games.
Team USA’s big forward has four primary points — all of which have come at even strength — in the early stages of group play. Knight has peppered the net early and often and is already up to 14 shots on goal. She’s been one of the most impactful players of the 2019 Worlds, just as we all expected her to be.
A beautiful feed from @DaniCam9 to @HilaryKnight! @usahockey #WomensWorlds pic.twitter.com/1tU9MNIoSN— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) April 6, 2019
Jenni Hiirikoski | Defender | Finland
Finland’s superstar defender leads all blueliners in primary points and assists. She five assists through the first three games of the group stage. She has primary assists on both of Finland’s power play goals.
Even against elite competition, Hiirikoski is typically a high-volume shooter, but she’s picked up just six shots on goal thus far. She’s also averaging 34.33 shifts per game and has played at least 22:24 in all three of her appearances.
Brianne Jenner | Forward | Canada
Jenner has been a force of nature for Canada early on in Finland. Before today’s game against Russia, she was leading her team in scoring. After this afternoon’s 5-1 rout, she’s sitting in second place on Canada with five points in three games.
With her secondary assist on Natalie Spooner's goal, Brianne Jenner is now up to 1 G, 3 A thus far in #Espoo2019. She came into today's game with an unreal 78.57 FO%. If you're looking for players who have stepped up for @HockeyCanada with Pou out, look no further than Jenner.— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) April 8, 2019
Jenner has scored a goal and picked up four assists for Canada thus far. Despite always being in the thick of things, she’s also managed to stay out of the box. However, she has burned the opposition when they have been shorthanded: four of Jenner’s five points have come on the power play.
Natalie Spooner | Forward | Canada
Spooner absolutely went off against Russia today with a hat trick, a primary assist, and six shots. Thus far, that is the most productive game of the tournament for any individual skater.
Natalie Spooner (@natspooner5) completes the hat trick against Russia. Utterly unstoppable in this game. Russia can't do anything against her around their own net. Four primary points thus far in the game. #womensworlds— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) April 8, 2019
That four-point performance launched Spooner to the top of the scoring lead in Espoo. She’s now up to four goals and two primary assists through her first three games. That is six primary points.
It’s worth noting that Spooner is just one of three players in the tournament with two power play goals. She’s also one of four players at the Worlds this year who has four or more points at even strength.
Viivi Vainikka | Forward | Finland
Vainikka is one of just four players at the Worlds who already has four primary points. She was kept out of the box score in Finland’s 6-2 rout over Switzerland earlier today, but the 17-year-old had a three-point game against Russia on April 6.
The teenager hasn’t been seeing as much as time as Finland’s more established stars so far, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the surprise storylines of the 2019 Worlds.
Klara Hymlarova | Forward | Czech Republic
Hymlarova, 20, has rebounded in a big way in Espoo after failing to register a point at the 2017 Worlds in Plymouth, Michigan. She has scored two of Czech Republic’s four power play goals and is one of three players on her team with three primary points.
Caroline Baldin | Goaltender | France
France is the only team in the Worlds without a regulation win, but that has definitely not been because of lackluster goaltending.
Baldin has a superb .933 save percentage thus far in the group stage. After her heavy workload early in group play, France decided to give her a rest today against Germany. Thus far in Finland she’s faced 40.84 SA60 (shots against per sixty minutes) and is ranked fourth among goaltenders in total minutes played.
Brigette Lacquette | Defender | Canada
Lacquette is second among defenders ins coring behind only Hiirikoski. However, all four of her assists have been picked up on the power play; she and Jenner lead all skaters in power play scoring in Espoo.
The Calgary Inferno star has already matched her previous career high for production in a World Championship tournament, which set back in 2015.