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What to know for the women's hockey world championship

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports' daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what's happening in sports by subscribing here.

The Canadian women's hockey team arrived at last year's world championship tournament in Brampton, Ont., as the undisputed queens of women's hockey.

Following a barren stretch where the rival United States won five straight major titles leading up to the pandemic, Canada reclaimed the world title in a Calgary bubble in 2021 and retained it in 2022 while also recapturing the Olympic gold medal that year in Beijing — beating the U.S. in the final each time. Canada had also scored a dramatic victory over the Americans in that season's Rivalry Series, rallying from down three games to none to win the final four contests.

But, despite enjoying home-ice advantage in front of supportive crowds in the hockey-mad Greater Toronto Area, the Canadians got knocked off their throne in Brampton. After nearly getting toppled in the quarterfinals by Sweden's red-hot goalie (Emma Soderberg made 51 saves before Sarah Nurse scored in overtime to rescue her team from a massive upset), Canada coughed up four unanswered goals in the third period of the final against the Americans to lose 6-3 and watch their jubilant archrivals hoist the world-championship trophy on Canadian ice.

Canada earned a measure of revenge this season by once again rallying from a 3-0 deficit to win the Rivalry Series, capped by an emphatic 6-1 rout in Game 7 in Minnesota in February. But the Canadians are seeking a full payback at this year's world championship in Utica, N.Y., where group play began today as Canada prepares for its opener on Thursday night.

Here's what to know for the tournament:

Yes, Canada and the