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Team Canada relying on veterans as it looks to regain women's hockey world championship

When the final buzzer sounded at Brampton's CAA Centre last April, Team Canada had to watch the Americans celebrating on Canadian home ice.

A hat trick from Hilary Knight propelled the U.S. to a 6-3 win in the final, ending a Canadian bid for three straight world championship titles.

A year later, the Canadians have the opportunity to return the favour as their quest for redemption begins in Utica, N.Y., on Thursday when they face Finland in the first preliminary round game of the women's world championship.

Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the United States round out group A, while Japan, China, Germany, Sweden and Denmark will compete in group B.

WATCH | CBC Sports' Hockey North previews women's hockey worlds:

Going into this year's tournament, Canadian GM Gina Kingsbury didn't see a need for major changes. She thinks the team had a strong performance in 2023, even if it didn't result in a championship.

The Americans held an evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., last week to select its roster.

Canada took a different approach, naming its roster in early March. Instead of a selection camp, the team gathered in Kingston, Ont., last week to start building chemistry and fine-tuning special teams.

There will be plenty of familiar faces on Canada's roster, with 20 players returning from last year's team. Cousins Julia and Nicole Gosling will make their world championship debut while Olympic gold medallist Ashton Bell returns to the blue line.

While the Americans will field a roster filled with lots of young, NCAA talent, Canada is bringing a roster filled with a bit more veteran talent, from captain Marie-Philip Poulin to Brianne Jenner, Jocelyne Larocque and Natalie Spooner.

"Some people may think we're too cautious