IIHF Women’s World Cup: Switzerland as an outsider in semi-final against Canada

IIHF Women's World Cup: Switzerland as an outsider in semi-final against Canada

In the quarter-finals, Switzerland turned a World Cup of despair into a World Cup of great joy. Image: Keystone

After emotional flight – Switzerland have nothing to lose against Canada tonight

Tomorrow i.e. Tuesday night (1 am) the Swiss women’s hockey team will take on top favorite Canada in the World Cup semi-finals. After an emotional turn in the quarter-finals, the national team now has nothing to lose.

The Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship threatened to be a major disappointment for the Swiss national team. After the group stage, coach Colin Muller’s team had four defeats and a goal difference of 1:17 in four matches against stronger opponents. In addition, the tournament ended early for striker and team leader Alina Muller due to injury.

Nevertheless, due to the mode in the Women’s World Cup, the national team was up against the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the quarter-finals. And for a long time there was not feeling well either. Two quick goals by the Russians ensured that goalkeeper Andrea Brandly – one of the best Swiss women ever in the tournament – got an early break and was replaced by Saskia Maurer.

But Swiss women made a dramatic comeback. On the one hand, substitute Saskia Maurer held tight. Veteran Evelina Raselli, on the other hand, brought hope back after 50 minutes with a connection goal. About two minutes before the end, Phoebe Stanz leveled at six for five. And in the detail it was Laura Zimmerman who made the final change on a wonderful pass from Sinja Lehmann.

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In the stands you can see the injured Alina Muller jumping with joy despite a huge crack in her leg while the players lay in each other’s arms on the ice below. The visuals were a symbol of the joy and relief that the entire team felt at that time. Within minutes, he had turned the tournament from a potential disaster into a success story.

“The goal in overtime was indescribable,” said winning goal scorer Laura Zimmerman. “The team fought very hard in every game and in the end rewarded themselves against Russia,” said coach Colin Muller. It was a game of ages and ages that no one will forget.

Now there is another «game for the ages». Swiss meet tournament favorite Canada in the semifinals. It is a difficult task which the national team is well aware of. They lost 5–0 in the group stage. But just how good the Maple Leafs really are, they showed two days later when they beat fellow favorite USA 5:1.

Of course, Switzerland is an outsider in the semi-finals. But it also means that Phoebe Stanz, Laura Zimmerman, Lara Stalder & Co. have nothing to lose. Thanks to the victory against Russia, they could even enter a duel with Canada – and deal with one of the greatest sensations in the history of Swiss ice hockey.

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