2021 Worlds: an introduction

Ready or not, the 2021 IIHF World Championship is almost here!

The 10-team, 10-day tournament starts on Friday, Aug. 20 in Calgary, and to get you ready we have a whole host of content.

It’s been a long road to get to this point.

First off, the 2020 tournament was cancelled because of the pandemic. As the calendar drew closer to the typical March starting date for the 2021 edition, the IIHF announced it would be played in May in Nova Scotia. It was never officially called a postponement or acknowledged that it would be later than usual.

Then, in April, just 15 days before puck drop, the tournament was cancelled. The provincial government of Nova Scotia cited rising COVID cases as the reason to pull the plug. The IIHF had no backup plan, a criticism that was answered by René Fasel, the president of the IIHF, when he said a full backup location would have been “not possible from an expense and logistical perspective” in an open letter posted on the IIHF’s site.

There were serious concerns that we would, for the second consecutive year, have no Worlds. Players, fans, and media members were all frustrated.

In May, the IIHF announced the tournament would be played at the end of August and was moved to Calgary. Which brings us to now, the middle of August. It’s finally time for the first IIHF women’s tournament since 2019.

Tournament format

The 10 teams are split into two groups — Group A and B.

Group A includes reigning champions USA, 2019’s silver medalist Finland, bronze medalist Canada, Russia (competing under Russian Olympic Committee, or ROC, because of doping), and Switzerland. Group B consists of Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and Hungary.

Group play is a round-robin tournament where each country faces the other teams in its respective pool. After that, all five countries in Group A and the top three countries in Group B will advance to the quarterfinals with seeding based on the group play results. The quarterfinal winners advance to the semifinals, with the others moving to knockout placement games with the winner claiming first place and moving up into Group A for the next Worlds tournament.

How to watch

  • NHL Network is slated to broadcast two pre-tournament games, every US and Canada game live as well as the second and third quarterfinal, both semifinals, and both medal games.
  • TSN will broadcast three pre-tournaments games, all preliminary-round games, quarterfinals, semifinals and medal games from WinSport Arena on their various channels. RDS will provide coverage of all Team Canada games, in addition to playoff-round games.
    TSN Schedule
  • EPSN+’s schedule shows that all non-US/Canada games will be streamed on their platform.
    Get ESPN+/


Check back here as we publish previews for each of the 10 teams playing.












FridayAug 202 p.m.CZEDENB
FridayAug 206 p.m.CANFINA
FridayAug 209:30 p.m.SUIUSAA
SaturdayAug 212 p.m.GERHUNB
SaturdayAug 216 p.m.RUSSUIA
SaturdayAug 219:30 p.m.DENJPNB
SundayAug 222 p.m.HUNCZEB
SundayAug 226 p.m.CANRUSA
SundayAug 229:30 p.mFINUSAA
MondayAug 232 p.m.GERDENB
MondayAug 236 p.m.JPNCZEB
TuesdayAug 242 p.m.USARUSA
TuesdayAug 246 p.m.SUICANA
TuesdayAug 249:30 p.m.HUNJPNB
WednesdayAug 252 p.m.RUSFINA
WednesdayAug 256 p.m.CZEGERB
WednesdayAug 259:30 p.m.DENHUNB
ThursdayAug 262 p.m.FINSUIA
ThursdayAug 266 p.m.USACANA
ThursdayAug 269:30 p.m.JPNGERB
SaturdayAug 28NoonQuarterfinalQuarterfinalmedal
SaturdayAug 283:30 p.m.QuarterfinalQuarterfinalmedal
SaturdayAug 287 p.m.QuarterfinalQuarterfinalmedal
SaturdayAug 2810:30 p.m.QuarterfinalQuarterfinalmedal
SundayAug 293 p.m.Play 1Play 1medal
SundayAug 297 p.m.Play 2Play 2medal
MondayAug 303 p.m.SemifinalSemifinalmedal
MondayAug 307 p.m.SemifinalSemifinalmedal
TuesdayAug 31noonPlay 3Play 3medal
TuesdayAug 313:30 p.m.BronzeBronzemedal
TuesdayAug 317:30 p.m.GoldGoldmedal

Each day of play, The Ice Garden will have a recap of our Game of the Day and live tweet along with it. So be sure to join us on Twitter (@TheIceGarden) and stay with us through the whole tournament.