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Women's National Team

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In convincing fashion, the Swiss women’s national team won the first game of the best-of-three relegation round series against Japan 3-1. They are now just one victory away from staying in the top division.

Photo  frauennati.ch

Just 20 hours after a disappointing 1-2 loss in the last game of the preliminary round against Sweden and the shock about not qualifying for the quarterfinals and the Olympic Games, the Swiss were well rested. Despite an early Japanese lead after just 109 seconds, their win was never in jeopardy. Having to make do without the injured Alina Müller, they already scored two goals in the first period. Anja Stiefel on the power play and Christine Hüni, with her third goal at this World Championship and also her third goal against Japan, were responsible for this early lead. Lara Stalder then scored the third and last goal of this game on the power-play early in the second period.

Head coach Daniela Diaz was happy about her team’s response to the loss against Sweden. “Today’s win was a first step towards staying in the top league, but nothing more. We know we need a strong team for the second game once again.” Diaz showed her respect to today’s opponent and labeled the Japanese “fast, agile and always dangerous with their counterattacks.”

Securing a place amongst the top-eight teams is very important for Women’s hockey in Switzerland, according to Diaz. “We are still on the right track.” On this day off, the players can clear their minds to prepare for the decisive second victory. The second and possibly last game of this relegation round will take place on Sunday (10PM Swiss time). (dmo/bsc)

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