An Introduction to the Professional Women’s Hockey League, World Juniors
The newly founded Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and the World Juniors are vital to hockey’s growth nationally and internationally.
Introduction of the PWHL
The inaugural season for the Professional Women’s Hockey League began on Jan. 1, 2024.
The league has six teams: Montreal, Toronto, New York, Boston, Ottawa and Minnesota. Each team has its own ice rink. (Click here for current standings.)
The teams do not have names or logos yet. For now, they are known by their home cities.
The PWHL has a few rules that separate it from the NHL. The NHL has a 2-0-1 point system: two points for a win, zero for a regulation loss and one for an overtime/shootout loss. The PWHL has a 3-2-0-1 point system: three points for a win, two for an overtime/shootout win, zero for a regulation loss and one for an overtime/shootout loss.
Additionally, a shorthanded goal ends a power play. In the NHL, if the opponent scores a shorthanded goal, the power play continues, but with this rule, there is an incentive to be more aggressive and send out a top scorer on the penalty kill.
There is a good amount of physicality in the league; however, open-ice hits are now allowed. Players are permitted to body check when an opposing player’s clear intention is to play the puck or gain possession of it.
There is also no fighting in the league, but there are scrums between players and teams; they cannot drop their gloves and try to land punches.
The playoffs will include the top four teams. The number one seed will play the number four seed, and the number two seed will play the number three seed. The winners of those series will play in a championship series. All playoff matchups will be best-of-five series.
The PWHL streams all games on YouTube. The streams get several thousand viewers.
For more information on the PWHL’s foundational details, visit PWHL’s “Foundational” Details Explained – The Hockey News Women’s News, Analysis, and More.
Here is a link to the PWHL schedule: PWHL Schedule January 2024 Regular Season | PWHL – Professional Women’s Hockey League.
The World Juniors
The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Junior Championship, also called the World Juniors, is an annual tournament for the best players in the world under twenty years old. This year’s teams included the United States, Canada, Latvia, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Czechia.
The tournament began on Dec. 26, 2023, and ended on Jan. 5, 2024.
In case you missed the tournament or simply have yet to hear of it, here is how it unfolded and some storylines from it.
The United States won gold in the 2024 edition of the World Juniors. They defeated Sweden, the host country, 6-2. Czechia won bronze. Norway was relegated from the top division and will have to fight back to the World Juniors.
Canada, who has won the tournament 20 times, went 3-1 in round-robin play. The loss was a 2-0 shutout at the hands of Sweden. Czechia bounced Canada from the tournament with a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals.
Macklin Celebrini, the projected number one overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, who plays for Boston University, led Team Canada with four goals and four assists for eight points.
Cutter Gauthier, who plays for Boston College and was recently traded to the Anaheim Ducks(players can be drafted into the NHL and still play in college), led Team USA with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in seven games. Gauthier and Czechia’s Jiri Kulich had the most points in the tournament.
Jimmy Snuggerud (USA and University of Minnesota hockey player) and Otto Stenberg (Sweden), both prospects of the St. Louis Blues, scored hat tricks in the World Juniors on the same day.
After Team USA won the gold medal game, they celebrated like any team would. However, the Swedish team and fans did not appreciate how they reacted following their win. Many viewers took to social media to broadcast how the US team celebrated poorly.
Stay tuned to The Rebel Walk for more hockey coverage!
Russ Eddins is a freshman at the University of Mississippi majoring in journalism with an emphasis in sports writing. He has lived in Oxford for over 12 years. Since August of 2022, he has worked with the Ole Miss Hockey team. While hockey is his main focus in writing, he is also an avid baseball fan. Email Russ at email@example.com or DM him on twitter @EddinsRuss.