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The 2017 Women’s World Championship begins today

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Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 5 - Canada v United States Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The preliminary rounds of the 2017 WWC begin today in Plymouth, Michigan with three games. The game that every one is talking about is the first meeting between the United Sates and Canada since the Four Nations Cup.

This is what USA’s preliminary round schedule against the rest of Group A looks like.

  • 3/31 vs Canada, 7:30pm EST
  • 4/1 vs Russia, 3:30pm
  • 4/3 vs Finland, 7:30pm

All three games will be streamed live on NHL.com and the first two games will be broadcast live on the NHL Network. USA’s third game against Finland will be aired at 10:00am on Apr. 4th on the NHL Network.

The preliminary stage of the tournament determines which two teams from Group A (USA, Canada, Finland and Russia) get a bye in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.

For Group B (Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland) the preliminary round determines which two teams battle for match-ups with the A3 and A4 seed from Group A in the quarterfinal. The bottom two teams of Group B will play a three-game relegation series that begins on Apr. 4th.

This is the first major tournament where New York Rangers legend Mike Richter will serve as the USWNT’s goaltending coach. A fellow NHL goaltender alumnus, Robb Stauber, will be USA’s head coach for the tournament.

The 2017 WWC also marks the return of New York Riveters star Amanda Kessel to international ice.

This is the first time since the 2014 Sochi Games that Kessel has worn a USA jersey in a major competition. Kessel missed the Four Nations Cup this season with a lower-body injury.

Kessel had 18 points in 8 regular season games for the New York Riveters this year. After returning from her injury she dominated the NWHL with a league-best 2.25 pts/gp. Kessel registered a point in every game she played in with the Riveters. Here’s hoping she can do the same wearing a different but familiar red, white and blue jersey.