UMD Women’s Hockey Team Reacts to IIHF Cancelling U18 Women’s World Championship
USA Hockey has requested that the IIHF reconsider the cancellation, with executive director Pat Kelleher calling it "a critical event for the future of women's hockey".
DULUTH, Minn. – Last week, the IIHF announced that they were cancelling the U18 women’s world championships for the second straight year, citing concerns with rising COVID cases. The move came with sharp criticism on social media from players on all levels. Wednesday, the UMD women’s hockey team shared its views on the decision.
“It’s disappoint and it’s just kind of an exhausting battle that us females have to go through time and time again. The senior national team, they’ve done so much and they continue to do so much to try and get this equality. I can only imagine what they’re feeling, the disappointment and the exhaustion that they feel from battling this time and time again,” forward Gabbie Hughes said.
“One thing that I think about is how many of those U18 players eventually are Olympians. As we know, women’s only has U18 and senior national teams so I think we’re missing out on some really valuable experience for Olympians down the road,” said head coach Maura Crowell.
The announcement was the toughest for goalie Emma Soderberg who was set to represent her home country of Sweden. Soderberg tweeted out her reaction over the weekend, noting that the u18 tournament was where she was discovered by the UMD coaching staff.
“All of us understand the health and safety aspects of this. But I just wish there could be a safer way to play the tournament could be found and talking about a postponement rather than a cancellation right away. I know for myself how important these tournaments were for me and for my career. I really think it’s disappointing if it’s going to be two years in a row so for some people, they’re missing out completely on their chance to play,” Soderberg said.
USA Hockey has requested that the IIHF reconsider the cancellation, with executive director Pat Kelleher calling it “a critical event for the future of women’s hockey”.