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Women's Worlds set to kick off in Ottawa @NHLdotcom

Twenty-three years after the first event, the IIHF Women's World Championship is returning to Ottawa for the 15th edition of the tournament and will start with preliminary-round play Tuesday.

Eight countries will compete for the world title, with the United States seeking revenge for their runner-up finish last year in Burlington, Vt. At the 2012 Worlds, Canada won gold when Caroline Ouellette scored 1:50 into overtime to seal a 5-4 win in the final.

Canada and the United States come into the tournament as co-favorites to win, but these rivals will be battling for another distinction. Through 14 previous competitions, the United States leads all nations with 488 goals while Canada isn't far behind at 481. So the race will be on to see which team is first to score 500 goals at the Women's World Championship.

The inaugural IIHF Women's World Championship took place in Ottawa in 1990 and proved to be a landmark event. The host nation earned the title with a 5-2 victory against the United States in the final, putting women's hockey on the map and showcasing the world-class skills of some of the world's best players.

In 2010, two of those players, Canada's Angela James and American Cammi Granato, became the first women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

As in the first tournament, this installment will also feature some true legends of the game. They include the Women's Worlds' all-time leading scorer and seven-time world champion Hayley Wickenheiser, USA captain and four-time champion Julie Chu and Finland's Karoliina Rantamaki, who already holds the tournament record of 57 games played.

The gold-medal game is scheduled for April 9.

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