IIHF Women's World Championship
Women's national team stays in the top division
- Source: Daniel Monnin
- Published: 08 April 2017 - 6:41 am
The Swiss women’s national team stays in the top division of the Women’s World Championship. Thanks to a 3-1 victory in the third playout game against Czechia, Switzerland secured its spot among the top-eight nations – albeit in a laborious way.Photo: SIHF
Switzerland thus managed to achieve its primary goal and will –regardless of an extension from eight to ten teams– stay in the Top Divison. Nonetheless, the public –and also the players– tend to have higher expectations after two Bronze medals at the Women’s Worlds in Burlington (2012) and at the Olympics in Sochi (2014). But one has to accept the fact that Switzerland is not per se a favorite to clinch one of the two quarterfinal spots in the “lower” Group B. However, a lot of people still think this is the case.
Looking back, this Women’s Worlds certainly was not Switzerland’s finest hour. The sum of the “small details,” which were so important according to head coach Daniela Diaz, worked in Switzerland’s favor in the very end. Florence Schelling’s faux pas (an unintended pass to a Czech forward) or two unnecessary penalties in the last period of the preliminary game against Sweden were just two of these details, which may have cost the quarterfinal berth.
On the other hand, there were Schelling’s world class performances in the playouts, Chrstine Meier’s coolness – she scored the decisive goal against Czechia both in the preliminary game and in the second relegation round game– and the tactical performance, with which the Swiss team unhinged Germany’s strong defense – these were the details that helped to secure this spot in the Top Division. But it was not an easy task: Despite dominating the decisive Game 3 early on and leading the game 2-0, the Czechs managed to put a lot of pressure on the Swiss team. Nonetheless, Switzerland managed to win this game 3-1. Rüegg and Müller scored within two minutes in the first period; Lara Stalder sealed the deal with a power-play goal in the third.
Now, the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation has a lot of work to do. They have to –thoroughly– analyze this season. And if Switzerland wants to be successful in the future, the Federation has to come up with a solution to strengthen the Swiss Women’s Hockey League, for two-thirds of the national team still play in this League. Even unusual ideas, which open up new perspectives, are welcome, too.Last Update: 08 April 2017, 06:18 AM | bsc