Much has happened in the world of hockey since 2018's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. After a hiatus during PyeongChang, the top NHL players were initially set to be returning to Olympic competition for this year's Games. However, stars like Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Ovechkin won't be competing in this year's Olympic hockey tournament after all due to COVID-19 concerns.
Like PyeongChang, though, the top women's players on the planet are still expected to compete, and it's likely that the rivalry between the U.S. in Canada will continue to intensify come puck drop in February.
Three-time Olympic medalist Hilary Knight is expected to compete for the U.S. this February. Knight, 32, played a key role for the Americans in PyeongChang when they took down the Canadians to win their first gold medal since 1998. A native of Palo Alto, California, Knight has guided Team USA to eight (!) gold medals at the IIHF World Women's Championship while also serving as one of women's hockey's top ambassadors in North America.
Other Olympic veterans expected to join Knight in Beijing include Brianna Decker, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Amanda Kessel.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, two of the heroes for USA's gold medal-winning women's team in PyeongChang, announced their retirement from the U.S. Women’s National Team Program last February. The 32-year-old twin sisters spent 14 years with USA Hockey and helped lead the Americans to six gold medals at the IIHF World Women's Championship, as well as three Olympic medals (gold in 2018, silver in 2010 and 2014).
Former Team USA captain Meghan Duggan also will not be returning for this year's Games. She retired from international competition in 2020 after having guided the U.S. to three Olympic medals and seven World Championships.
New Faces to Watch
Abby Roque is one of the top up-and-comers expected to play for the U.S. at this year's Games. The 24-year-old won an NCAA title at the University of Wisconsin and is set to become the first Indigenous woman in the United States women's national team's history to play at the Olympics.