Swiss Women's National Team

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The Swiss women’s U18 national team is facing a difficult task at the Women’s World Junior Championship that takes place in Prerov and Zlin (Czechia) from January 7 to 14. In the tenth edition of this tournament, the Swiss team aims to stay in the top division. 

Photo: Mauricette Schnider

The position of this young team (with seven newcomers), led by head coach Andrea Kröni (photo),  is a familiar one. The Swiss team will start the tournament as the underdog in the “B-group.” The top-two teams of this group, which also includes Finland, Czechia, and Japan, advance to the quarterfinals.

Four times in the past nine years, and now twice in a row, the Swiss team secured their place in the top division in the relegation round. Twice, they were relegated and twice, they were promoted to the top division again. In the past two years, two wins in the preliminary round were not enough. Despite winning six points, the team had to play against relegation due to the goal difference. 

Considering the previous games against the three opponents in this group, it shows that the Swiss are not going to fight a losing battle. The record against Finland is clearly negative (8-24). However, the Swiss team is ahead 4-2 when one only considers games at the World Juniors. Especially the two 2-0 victories in the past two years highlight that a brilliant performance would not be a surprise. Also against Japan, the promoted team, the Swiss have a positive record (6-3) and positive memories: In Buffalo (2015) as well as Stockholm (2011), the Swiss team secured its spot in the top division by winning against Japan in the relegation round. And the record against the Czech team may be negative (1-3), but the last game at the World Juniors was eight years ago. 

However, it almost all depends on how the two elite national team players Shannon Sigrist (1999) and Stefanie Wetli (2000) as well as the experienced 2000-quintet, consisting of Rahel Enzler, Noemi Ryhner, Lisa Rüedi, Jessica Schlegel, and Lara Zimmermann, can make up for Alina Müller’s “departure.” Head coach Andrea Kröni is confident: “The team has been working hard. They have progressed a lot, on and off the ice.” For Kröni, this also includes the personal development of her players, which can be a key factor at the World Juniors. And as many as 14 players out of this 23 player won a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in February of 2016 – this should give the team additional confidence. 

Last Update: 05 January 2017, 11:03 AM | bsc

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