Swiss Women's Hockey League

The playoff semifinals of the SWHL A are about to start. The ZSC Lions, who won five of the last seven championships, are definitely the ones to beat this year.

Photo: Mauricette Schnider

Technically, the Best-of-5 semifinal series between the ZSC Lions and SC Reinach seem to have an obvious winner. However, the Lions suffered their only defeat in the regular season against Reinach. Additionally, it remains to be seen how well the eleven players, who were part of Switzerland's roster for the Olympic games, have recovered from the Olympic tournament.

Nevertheless, the Lions remain the clear favorite and team leader Angela Weber is also clear about their goals for the playoffs: "Yes, we want to defend our title." Or to put it another way: Anything but the third title in a row would be a disappointment for the Lions. They will have to make do without Sara Benz and Shannon Sigrist. Reinach, for their part, have reached the goal they set for the season by qualifying for the playoffs and they are now looking forward to the series against the Lions. "We have clearly reached our goal and can go into the playoffs without pressure," coach Mel Häfliger says. She will not be able to count on goaltender Vanessa Bolinger (Playoffs with Chur). Ramona Forrer will be in net.

The winner of the second semifinal series between EV Bomo Thun and HC Lugano seems to be less clear than in the other series. Lugano won three out of four regular-season games against Thun. For HCL's team manager Sydney Piaget it thus is about "getting the most out of the playoffs. We have a young team, with Justine Forster, Jasmine Fedulov, Gaia Mottis, Leah Huhnke, Emma Montalbetti, Aurela Thalmann and also Ladina Staub seven young players were integrated." Thun's team manager Roger Rensch, for his part, is clear about Bomo's goals: "We want to reach the final." Both teams will be able to count on their full roster.

The Neuchâtel Hockey Academy and SC Weinfelden will face each other in the playouts. The women from Neuchâtel, two-time bronze medalist in the last four years, have won three out of the four games against Weinfelden, but they lost their last matchup in the regular season. Weinfelden has a new head coach in Christian Oesch and will go thus into the playouts with new vigor. The goal for the postseason is thus clear for Neuchâtel's president Laure Aeschimann and Weinfelden's team manager Tury Wagner: to secure their spot in the SWHL A as fast as possible.

Last Update: 01 March 2018, 08:38 AM | dmo/mso*

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