Ice Hockey at PyeongChang 2018

Venues: Gangneung Hockey Centre, Kwandong Hockey Centre

Competition Dates: February 10-25 (Days 1-16)

Events: 2 (1 men, 1 women)

In its basic form, hockey is a game played on ice in which teams try to score in their opponent’s goal, using curved sticks to move the rubber puck. Five players and one goalkeeper are on the ice for a team at any one time, with substitutions coming from the bench. A regulation game consists of three 20-minute periods with two 15-minute intermissions. At the Olympic Games, no games can end in a tie, so deadlocks are broken by a four-on-four overtime period or, if needed, a shoot-out. Overtime is five minutes for group stage games and 10 minutes for all playoff games, except for the gold medal game which has a 20 minute overtime.

Canada v. USA men's ice hockey gold medal final - Vancouver 2010

At PyeongChang 2018 the men’s tournament will have 12 teams divided into three groups:

Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, South Korea

Group B: Russia, United States, Slovakia, Slovenia

Group C: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany

Men's hockey (Vancouver 2010)

The tournament begins with a round robin within each group. No teams are eliminated from medal contention based on the preliminary round results. The three group winners and the second place team with the best record receive a bye into the quarterfinals. The remaining eight teams play a qualification playoff game. The winners of the qualification playoff games advance to the quarterfinals to face one of the teams that received a bye. Quarterfinal winners advance to the semifinals. Semifinal winners advance to play for gold and silver while the semifinal losers play for bronze.

At PyeongChang 2018 the women’s tournament will have eight teams divided into two groups:

Group A: United States, Canada,  Finland, Russia

Group B: Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea

CAN vs USA

The tournament begins with a round robin within each group. Organized into two tiers, Group A consists of teams ranked 1-4 by the IIHF while Group B has the teams ranked 5-8. All the teams from Group A advance from the preliminary round along with the top two teams from Group B. The top two teams from Group A receive a bye into the semifinals where they face the winners of the quarterfinals (fourth place in Group A versus first place in Group B or third place in Group A versus second place in Group B). The semifinal winners advance to play for gold and silver while the semifinal losers play for bronze.

Canadian History (pre-PyeongChang 2018)

With 20 medals, including 13 gold, Canada is the most successful country in Olympic ice hockey.

Canada won the men’s tournament at six of the first seven Olympic Games in which ice hockey was included, beginning with the debut during the summer Games at Antwerp 1920.

NHL Sochi Olympics Hockey

There was then a 50 year drought after Oslo 1952 until the next gold was won at Salt Lake City 2002. But the next wait was much shorter, with back-to-back men’s gold medals at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. Shea Weber, Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Drew Doughty, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Duncan Keith, Roberto Luongo, Patrick Marleau and Corey Perry were all members of those last two gold medal teams.

Team Canada sings the Canadian national anthem after receiving their gold medals after beating the USA 3-2 in overtime of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Canada has never missed the podium in the women’s tournament since it debuted at Nagano 1998. After a silver at those first Games, Canada won four straight gold medals, making Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford the two most decorated athletes in the sport. Caroline Ouellette joined them on all four gold medal teams.

Women's Hockey (Vancouver 2010)