Canada will open its quest for a third straight women’s world hockey championship gold medal against Switzerland in Brampton, Ont.
The schedule for the 10-country tournament April 5-16 at the CAA Centre was released Tuesday, with the host country taking on some different opponents early because of a shakeup in the standings at last year’s world championship.
Canada will attempt a three-peat for the first time since 2004, when the women capped a run of eight titles dating back to the inaugural championship in 1990.
The Canadians headline Group A of the top five seeds from the 2022 world championship including silver medallist United States, bronze medallist Czechia, Switzerland and Japan.
Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Sweden comprise Group B.
Canada faces the Swiss, France meets Finland and the United States plays Japan on opening day April 5.
The defending champions take on archrival U.S. on April 10.
The April 13 quarterfinals will be followed by semifinals April 15 and medal games April 16.
Canada edged the U.S. 2-1 for gold last year in Herning, Denmark — an event held in late August because of the Olympics — and 3-2 in overtime in 2021 in Calgary.
Canadian teams have won gold in six of eight women’s world championships played on home ice, including the 2021 edition played in front of family members only in Calgary because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada and the U.S. conclude their seven-game Rivalry Series on Feb. 20 in Trois-Rivières, Que., and Feb. 22 in Laval, Que.
The Americans lead the series 3-2.