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Women's National Team

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“The Miracle of Sochi” with a win in the bronze medal game against Sweden did not repeat itself. The Swiss lost their last game of the preliminary round against Sweden (1-2 SO) and will face Japan in the relegation round.

Photo  frauennati.ch

This loss resulted in a bitter disappointment. Instead of playing against Finland or Russia in the quarterfinal, which would have been enough to secure a berth in the next Olympic Games, the Swiss have to play a best-of-three relegation round series against Japan. These games are, despite a win against Japan in the first game, anything but a no-brainer. The Japanese showed their skills against Sweden (0-2) and Czechia (2-3 SO). The Swiss did not fail completely but the loss against Czechia – despite being the better team– proved to be too much of a burden.

Head coach Daniela Diaz: “Up until the last second, we had the opportunity to win this game. The team was fighting with a lot of effort. Therefore, this loss is indeed very bitter.” She also talked about the penalties. On this level, they were too numerous and she adds: “They did not help us to find our flow in the games.”

The Swiss were the better team in the early stages of the game. Evelina Raselli scored the first goal in the fifth minute. Despite having more scoring opportunities, this one-goal lead remained. A flood of penalties, including two for too many players on the ice, helped the Swedes to score their first goal 6 seconds before the end of the sixth penalty. At this point, Swiss goaltender Florence Schelling, who showed an excellent performance once again and stopped 18 shots during the second period, and her team had played for nine minutes and three seconds on the penalty kill. In spite of various good scoring opportunities, the Swiss did not manage to capitalize on them to score the game winning goal.

The first of three possible relegation round games against Japan will take place tonight at 10PM Swiss time. In February of 2017, the Swiss women’s national team has the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2018 in one of two qualification tournaments. Possible opponents are Japan, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and other teams who have to go through this qualification process. (dmo/bsc)

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