Team Canada’s Olympic hockey schedules released for Beijing 2022
As it was for PyeongChang 2018, the National Hockey League will not send players to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and players based in European leagues, the American Hockey League, and the NCAA will field the Canadian Olympic roster.
The NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association’s decision came in December amidst a COVID-19 outbreak that forced the league to postpone nearly 100 games.
READ: Team Canada’s backup plan for no NHL players in men’s Olympic hockey
The original men’s schedule, however, remains unchanged.
It was back in April 2020 that the IIHF revealed the 2020 World Rankings that determined the first six teams to qualify for the women’s Olympic tournament and the seeding of teams already qualified for the men’s tournament.
On the women’s side, Canada will head to the Games as the number two seed behind the United States. That puts them into the top tier Group A together alongside Finland (#3), ROC (#4), and Switzerland (#5).
All four of Canada’s preliminary round games will have the same start time — 12:10 p.m. in Beijing, which equates to 11:10 p.m. ET and 8:10 p.m. PT the night before in Canada.
Canada’s first game will be played on February 3, the day before the Opening Ceremony, against Switzerland. They’ll suit up against Finland on February 5 and then face the ROC on February 7. They’ll close out the preliminary round against their cross border rivals from the United States on February 8, hoping for another big win after defeating the Americans twice en route to winning gold at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in August.
The women’s quarterfinals will be played on February 11 and 12 with the semifinals on February 14. The bronze medal game is set for February 16 before the gold medal game on February 17.
Canada will be looking to return to the top of the Olympic podium in Beijing, after having settled for silver following a shootout loss to the Americans in the final at PyeongChang 2018.
Japan (#6) will be in tier two Group B alongside the host Chinese (#10) and three other countries which will earn entry to the Games through other qualification tournaments in 2021.
The first eight qualifiers for the men’s Olympic tournament were based on the 2019 IIHF World Ranking, which were finalized immediately following the 2019 IIHF World Championship. As the top-ranked team, Canada locked up one of those Olympic berths.
Canada remained number one in the 2020 World Rankings, which will make the team the top seed at Beijing 2022. They were drawn into Group A of the Olympic tournament alongside the United States (#6), Germany (#7), and China (#12).
Canada will open the men’s tournament against Germany at 9:10 p.m. in Beijing on February 10 (8:10 a.m. ET / 5:10 a.m. PT the same day). Two days later on February 12, they’ll face Team USA at 12:10 p.m. (11:10 pm ET / 8:10 pm PT on February 11). Canada will close out the preliminary round against the host team at 9:10 p.m. in Beijing on February 13 (8:10 a.m. ET / 5:10 a.m. PT).
Canada will hope to avoid playing in the qualification playoff games on February 15 and instead aim to advance directly into the quarterfinals to be played on February 16. The semifinals will take place February 18, setting up the bronze medal game on February 19 and the gold medal game on February 20.
Group B will include ROC (#2), Czech Republic (#5), Switzerland (#8) and Denmark. Group C will feature Scandinavian rivals Finland (#3) and Sweden (#4) as well as Slovakia and Latvia. The Danish, Slovakian and Latvian teams all secured their Olympic spots in qualification tournaments held in late August 2021.